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  1. Adrian Masters

Wales 'an afterthought for Tories' says Labour

Welsh Labour has criticised the proposals for further devolution expected to be announced by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister later. A spokesperson says:

Any progress on putting the Welsh devolution settlement on a firmer footing in terms of powers and funding should be welcomed.

However, this process has shown one thing above all others - that Wales remains an afterthought for the Tories.

There’s no parity with Scotland in the offer being mooted and people will rightly ask why that is.

They’ve slashed £1.5bn from our budget and they have waited until the last days of this parliament to start talking about fair funding for Wales.

The Labour offer in the General Election is clear – an ambitious devolution package, fair funding and a commitment to tackle the cost of living crisis.

– Welsh Labour spokesperson

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  1. Adrian Masters

Plaid awaits St David's Day devolution deal

Plaid Cymru sources are privately expecting to be disappointed by today's devolution announcement by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The party has engaged with the talks led by Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb and is hopeful for some of its aims to be realised in the St. David's Day agreement.

Ahead of the announcement, Party leader Leanne Wood said,

Plaid Cymru entered talks with the Westminster parties in a spirit of cooperation and we stated clearly what the next steps for Wales should be. We look forward to reading the command paper upon its publication.

– Leanne Wood AM, Plaid Cymru leader
  1. Adrian Masters

'Another step towards Home Rule for Wales' claims Clegg

Nick Clegg Credit: Anthony Devlin/Press Association Images

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to tell his party's Welsh conference that today's devolution deal is 'another step towards Home Rule for Wales.'

And he's expected to say that the moves 'would not have happened without the Liberal Democrats.'

He'll tell party members that Liberal Democrats in government 'have delivered greater devolution to Wales than anyone could have expected in 2010.'

Mr Clegg is expected to say

Today we have taken another step towards Home Rule for Wales with the new powers in the St David's Day Agreement.

This means a plan for fair funding for Wales and a new constitutional settlement, moving to a reserved powers model and handing over more control of important areas like renewable energy.

Make no mistake, this would not have happened without the Liberal Democrats. Giving away power does not come naturally to the Conservatives. Silk would not be being implemented at all without Liberal Democrat Ministers sitting at the cabinet table, making the case over and over again for devolving power to Wales.

But we will not rest here. The genie is out of the bottle.

We want proper Home Rule for Wales.

We will be the guarantors that fair funding will be delivered.

And we will continue to campaign to give Wales more control over its own affairs in areas like policing and transport.

The Liberal Democrats are fighting Wales' corner in Westminster, just as you are fighting for your communities day in and day out.

– Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister
  1. Adrian Masters

Tories delivering devolution claims Cameron

David Cameron describes the announcement as a 'landmark in Welsh devolution' Credit: Laura Lean/Press Association Images

The Prime Minister says that today's expected announcement of further powers for the Assembly and Welsh Government is part of the Conservative party's 'ambitious, long-term plan for Wales.'

David Cameron said:

This is a further important landmark in Welsh Devolution, which will allow the next Parliament to legislate for a stronger, fairer settlement for the people of Wales.

Conservatives have an ambitious, long-term plan for Wales and we want the Welsh Government to use these new powers as tools to help grow the Welsh economy from the inside up.

By securing fair funding for Wales, we have removed the final barrier to the Welsh Government holding a referendum on income tax.

As Conservatives, we believe that politicians should be responsible for raising some of the money they spend, and it is now time that the Welsh Government gives the people of Wales the chance to decide on this matter.

Right across the UK it is the Conservatives who are delivering on devolution.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland, the regions and cities of England, on English votes for English laws and on devolution for Wales, we are giving people more say over the decisions that affect them.

– David Cameron MP, Prime Minister
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