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  1. Nick Powell

Welsh Labour deserve to lose despite Corbyn says Wood

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has told her party's conference that Wales needs a change of government, replacing what she called a "tired, incompetent, Labour regime". She told delegates in Aberystwyth that Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader had changed nothing about the Welsh Government.

The Labour leadership may have changed. But one thing doesn’t change. And that is the undeniable need for a change of government in Wales. Be under no illusion – a change at the top in Westminster does not undo Labour’s poor record here.

The UK Labour leader will, we are told, be coming to campaign against the Party of Wales despite voting with us more often than his own party in Parliament.

Remember, he’ll be calling on people here to back a Welsh Labour Government, who not only defended Trident nuclear weapons but called for their relocation to Wales.

– Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM

Plaid claim they can form a government on their own after the Welsh election next May, though they admit they probably can't achieve an overall majority in the Senedd. No party has ever managed that. The same was true in Scotland until the SNP went from minority government to total domination of Scottish politics. The SNP's leader, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, was in Aberystwyth to urge Plaid Cymru to follow her party's example.

If the SNP can win in Scotland, there is no reason - none at all - that Plaid Cymru can't also win in Wales. Not at some distant point in the future. But now, next May, at this election.

You can win. Believe it. Work for it. And you will do it. And when Wales does turn from Labour to a party with ambition, vision and determination, people will realise just how different things can be.

– Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Tonight Labour hit back on the issue where Plaid Cymru think the Welsh Government is most vulnerable -the running of the NHS. Labour claim that Plaid has no idea how much its proposed reorganisation of the health service will cost -or any rate won’t tell the people of Wales.

  1. Nick Powell

Sturgeon to rally Plaid troops for Assembly election

Leanne Wood recently addressed the SNP Conference for the second year running. This time, Nicola Sturgeon is returning the favour. Credit: PA

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has given herself two hard a acts to follow at Plaid Cymru's conference. By the time she gets to her feet this afternoon, delegates will have already heard from Mark Serwotka, the leader of the PCS union, who's from Aberdare.

But top of the bill is the nationalists' heroine, the First Minister of Scotland Nicolas Sturgeon. The SNP leader, who looks set to increase her government's majority in next year's Scottish election, is making the trip to Aberystwyth this year.

Exchanges of speakers between the two parties are routine enough but it's become noticeable that although Leanne Wood has been happy enough to trek north, the SNP have generally left it to one of their more minor figures to return the compliment.

It's a sign of the close friendship between the two women, cemented when they both took part in the UK election debates earlier in the year. The kudos that Nicola Sturgeon gives to the conference outweighs any fears that Leanne Wood will be upstaged at her own party conference. The view at the top of Plaid Cymru is that they're resigned to constant comparisons between themselves and the SNP, so they might as well make the most of it.

Sure enough, any doubt that the Plaid can double its number of AMs and displace Labour as the biggest party in the Assembly is answered by pointing to the SNP's breakthrough in 2007, when it overtook Labour in the Scottish Parliament. It formed a minority government and went on to secure an overall majority four years later.

Plaid Cymru has identified the Welsh NHS as the key issue on which it will take on Labour.

Our Welsh NHS is being failed by Labour. We have fewer doctors per head than most countries in Europe, with Scotland having almost 50% more GPs than we do.

New drugs and treatments are often not available to patients simply because of the area they live in. We have the longest waiting times in Britain for people to be given tests that are crucial in diagnosing cancer.

We have the longest waiting times in Britain for people to start treatment, sometimes even when that treatment is lifesaving surgery.

The NHS can no longer be trusted in Labour’s hands. It can be trusted in Plaid Cymru’s."

– Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM

Plaid Cymru is promising to spend on the Welsh NHS all extra money that comes to Wales as a result of in creased health spending in England. The party has ambitious plans to train a thousand extra doctors, set up specialist diagnostic centres for people suspected of having cancer and set up a new fund to pay for new medicines and treatments.

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