Plaid Cymru's annual conference has ended with Lord Dafydd Wigley backing the party leader Leanne Wood's call for more money for Wales. Our political reporter Owain Phillips reports from Llangollen.
Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley, who's running his party's 2015 Westminster election campaign, will tell Plaid's conference today that the only effective protest on behalf of Wales is made by voting Plaid Cymru. Lord Wigley will back the call by his successor, Leanne Wood, for Wales to get an extra £1.2 billion a year from the Treasury as part of a package to deliver partity with Scotland.
“In any discussion about future constitutional settlement, Wales demands parity with Scotland – full parity, not just parity of esteem, but parity of power – and parity of financial resources.
“If it isn’t immediate independence, it has to be much more than devolution – for power devolved is power retained – as we in Wales well know.
“It has to be a new partnership between nations on these islands; and we, here in Wales too, have to be part of that partnership.
“If Wales got as much, pro-rata, as Scotland gets in comparison to England, then our National Assembly would be getting £1.2bn more each year. The financial treatment of Wales has been a scandal – and this issue, above all others, must dominate the coming general election here in Wales.
“Plaid Cymru will use the next six months to demand for Wales full parity with Scotland. In funding, in our National Assembly’s powers, in our place within the UK as it evolves, and with other small nations within the EU.
“In the forthcoming election, there may be several ways in which the voters can protest, but protesting, of itself is not enough: it must be positive protest, protest to a purpose. And the only way of protesting for the purpose of getting Wales a new deal is to be voting for Plaid Cymru candidates the length and breadth of Wales.”
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said her MPs won't back English votes for English laws until Wales gets an extra £1.2 billion a year.Read the full story ›
The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood AM, is giving her speech at the party's conference in Llangollen. Our Political Editor Adrian Masters is there for us.
.@leannewood Plaid’s exclusion from TV debates will distort reality:‘the truth will not be televised.The case for Wales deserves to be heard
.@leannewood ‘We share distrust and anger at a system and establishment which is broken and has let Wales down time after time.
Although Plaid Cymru's main focus is normally on winning power in the Assembly, it's holding a very Westminster focused conference in Llangollen over the next two days. The party's leader, Leanne Wood, sees her speech later today as an important opportunity to get her General Election message across, as she gets far fewer opportunities than the leaders of other Westminster parties.
She'll call them "four shades of Westminster grey", a four that includes UKIP, the new rival that out polled Plaid in the European election. Leanne Wood claims that Plaid's mission is to provide a positive alternative to what she calls "the dark side of politics". She says she saw that alternative -the politics of hope- when she campaigned for a yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.
The Plaid leader says the party could emerge from the election with five Westminster seats, up from its current three, and form a group with its SNP and English Green allies that could hold the balance of power. They would use that influence to push for a move away from austerity in economic policy and demand that policing, justice and control of natural resources are devolved to the Assembly, together with major tax and borrowing powers.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said that although legislation is not the only requirement for tackling Wales health and education problems, she's pleased that the Welsh Government has adopted what she claims are some of her parties policies in those fields.
The Qualifications Wales Bill will introduce the independent exam regulating body that Plaid Cymru has called for, although the Labour government will need to do a lot more to convince people that it has the measures in place to drive up standards when it comes to the Welsh education system.
The establishment of a Welsh Treasury through the Tax Collection and Management Bill is a significant move. There is great symbolism in establishing this function, which goes beyond the essential role it will have in administering the devolved taxes and borrowing powers. All self-respecting Parliaments must have the ability to vary taxes. Unlike Scotland, it has taken Wales fifteen years to establish this important symbolic function.
Plaid Cymru very much welcomes the establishment of a Welsh Treasury. For the first time, future Welsh Governments will have acquired the extra economic levers needed for job creation, although the powers proposed in the Wales Bill are limited and will not yet lead to a government that is properly accountable to the people of Wales.”--
First Minister's Questions. Our weekly look those tricky questions and even trickier answersRead the full story ›
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has paid a warm tribute to Bob Crow, the union leader who's died at the age of 52. Mr Crow's Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' Union (RMT) was disaffiliated from the Labour party in 2004 over its support for other political groups.
This very sad news has come as a complete shock. Bob has been a tenacious advocate of the rights of members of the RMT. I’ve shared a platform with Bob: he has been a good friend to Plaid Cymru, having been a guest speaker at our party conference back in 2003 – the first UK trade union leader to do so.
Bob’s emphasis on placing the needs of his members above all else - including and especially party politics - will be sorely missed. We need more like Bob Crow.
He was fearless and would not back down in the face of frequent and unfounded attacks from the ‘right.’ He was also a firm and vocal opponent of the politics of austerity and was excellent at articulating that there is an alternative to the current, cosy Westminster consensus. He will be deeply missed by all on the left throughout the UK.
Welsh Labour also issued a tribute on behalf of the First Minister.
Bob Crow was a highly respected trade unionist who tirelessly fought to deliver for his members. The trade union movement has lost one of its most prominent members.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has urged party activisits to keep faith with the European Union, despite admiting it needs reform.
On the second day of Plaid's spring conference in Cardiff there was also a call to devolve more powers over our railways.
At Plaid Cymru's conference in Cardiff, Political Editor Adrian Masters talks to two delegates who are in full election mode. Liz Saville-Roberts is the party's parliamentary candidate in Dwyfor Meirionnydd for 2015. Marc Jones is one of four candidates for May's election to the European Parliament.