Former First Minister Rhodri Morgan and the former Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones have been reunited - in the House of Lords. They were giving evidence to the Lords' Constitution Committee which is looking into the experience of coalition government.
Labour and Plaid Cymru formed a coalition government after the Welsh election of 2007. They were asked by peers how they'd found the experience and how that could translate to possible future coalitions in Westminster.
Labour's Rhodri Morgan told the committee that he found it 'odd' that UK Labour leaders hadn't approached him for advice when trying to form a coalition in 2010. If they had, he said he'd have told them Gordon Brown would have to have stepped down as leader.
Meanwhile the former Plaid Cymru leader highlighted the important role of civil servants during negotiations. He said they enabled him to know which of Plaid's policies were deliverable which helped when they merged the two parties' manifestos into a single programme.
Both men revealed they'd kept out of detailed negotiations in 2007. Ieuan Wyn Jones said they'd met at the beginning of talks and then rarely over the subsequent month. Rhodri Morgan said that it was important to appoint 'natural negotiators' to shape a full coalition deal.
The former Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones has told his party's conference in Beaumaris that his successor, Leanne Wood, can become First Minister in 2016. He said Plaid must be seen as the party that fights for jobs and for the life of Welsh communities, to win the next Assembly election.
He added that he became MP for Ynys Mon in 1987, two years after the last time Plaid Cymru held its conference on Anglesey. He said now they have two months to win the leadership of the island's county council. Elections were postponed from last year because of problems with feuding councillors.
Mr Jones claimed Anglesey needs Plaid Cymru to offer clear policies and leadership to give people a council they can respect. He was followed by Ceredigion AM Elin Jones who said Plaid in Anglesey can follow the example of her constituency, where the party gained the council leadership last year.
Ieuan Wyn Jones AM for Ynys Môn has described the news that 350 jobs are at risk on Anglesey as a "massive blow" to the local workforce and the island's economy.
The former leader of Plaid Cymru says he will be raising the issue with the Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies AM in the Assembly early next week.
We must do everything we can to try to keep these jobs. Our immediate priority is to try to sell the business as a going concern.
I will also be meeting the farming unions on the island to discuss the impact on the agricultural industry. The potential loss of this abattoir will be devastating for local farmers in North West Wales given that there are no large plants nearby. This may well have an impact on prices as competition will be reduced.
Plaid Cymru has called for a new Government of Wales Act to avoid 'wasteful' arguments in the Supreme Court over what powers the Assembly has. It follows decisions by the Attorney General to refer to the court the first two Welsh bills since last year's referendum.
Former leader Ieuan Wyn Jones says a new Act should set out what the Assembly is NOT responsible for, rather than what powers it has. And he pointed to last week's ITV Wales poll as proof that most people here want the Welsh Government and Assembly to have a greater say over the way Wales is run.
When the referendum was won in March 2011, we were told that this was Wales being given the tools it needed to get the job done. But ten months on and the two pieces of Assembly legislation are being challenged. This is a great source of concern and confusion, and is not reflective of the respect agenda that we hear so much about.
“That is why the Party of Wales is proposing decisive action to set out clearly what the Welsh Government’s powers are. A new Government of Wales Act which enshrines the reserved powers model into law is the best way forward. We will be looking at this more closely over the coming weeks and will offer a detailed proposal in our evidence to the Silk Commission when it looks at powers later this year.**
I won't comment personally further on the matter. There are proceedings within the party dealing with matters like that.
Internal party procedures would be distinct from any Assembly action and separate of course to the police investigation into the case. When I asked Mr Jones to say more about what those party procedures involve, he would involve he would only say that,
There are rules drawn up by the group which are currently being used in the process.
This is the second budget which delivers significant cuts to key services. Against this background of cuts we believe that the Welsh Government should be doing more to invest in the Welsh economy by using innovative schemes such as Build4Wales to invest in schools, roads and hospitals. We also want to see the Welsh Government doing more to target youth unemployment, which has increased dramatically over recent years. We don’t want another lost generation as happened in the 1980s under Thatcher.**
Plaid Cymru has issued its response to proposals to change the way Assembly Members are elected which have been published by the Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan today.
Whilst Plaid Cymru will be examining these proposals closely and look forward to being at the heart of debates about democracy in our country, we believe that decisions about elections in Wales should be made in Wales and not in London.
Plaid Cymru supports the Single Transferable Vote system to elect members to the National Assembly. That is the fairest way of keeping the constituency link and ensuring that there are fewer wasted votes.
– Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Plaid Cymru Constitutional Affairs Spokesperson
Although Cheryl Gillan does not include STV as an option in her Green Paper it should be considered, and it will form part of our response.
We are open minded about whether the Assembly should have 4 or 5 year terms; what we should avoid is a clash of an Assembly and Westminster election in the same year.
Former leader of Plaid Cymru Ieuan Wyn Jones, who's now the party's finance spokesperson, has waded into the row over the Welsh Government's claims that local health boards have met their financial targets.
This is an astounding attempt by the Labour Welsh government to mislead us into thinking that our LHBs have stayed within budget. I’ve been raising the financial mismanagement of some LHBs for months – and now the Welsh Government has had to bail them out again. A few months ago when the last massive financial bailout was made, Labour ministers gave assurances that they would bring this situation under control, but they have clearly failed. Now, this new £12m bailout will just mean less money for next year.
“Labour now intends to downgrade hospitals and centralise core services rather than get to grips with the financial mismanagement that is causing these problems.”