A bitter dispute has broken out between the Welsh Government and Welsh Conservatives in the wake of Labour's failed attempts to push through new council tax benefit rules. Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies says his group had reached an agreement which would have 'facilitated' a vote on the rules.
– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
We were working until the day before (the vote) to find a way to facilitiate this. We believed we had found a way to facilitiate it. But at lunchtime on Wednesday, the Welsh Government refused to take up the offer.
He said that he'd made the agreement with Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant on Tuesday night and denied that he was holding out for spending commitments. But the Welsh Government is categorically denying not only that there was any agreement, but that negotiations took place at all.
A source told me that 'they (the Conservatives) came with a set of demands and we showed them the door.' The source added:
On Wednesday, the Welsh Tory Leader approached the Welsh Government with a set of totally unacceptable, inappropriate and unrelated demands, in order to secure their support to get the vote through the Assembly.
Not content with deliberately trying to impose needless financial uncertainty on 330,000 Welsh households over Christmas and the New Year, the Welsh Tories tried to exploit the situation for their own narrow political ends. Their behaviour was reprehensible.
– Welsh Government source
The Welsh Government’s response to the Welsh Tory Leader and his grubby deal, was to show him the door. No negotiations took place and nothing was offered.