Plaid Cymru and Labour officially sign cooperation agreement

Mark Drakeford and Adam Price met to officially sign the agreement

Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Labour Government have officially signed a cooperation agreement, marking the start of a three-year partnership.

The two parties will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of 46 policy areas.

It includes the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils and childcare provision; the creation of a national care service and immediate and action to address the second homes crisis.

Signing the agreement on Wednesday December 1, Mark Drakeford said: “Over the next three years, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and deliver the policies set out in this Co-operation Agreement.

“This is a bespoke agreement to deliver for Wales but it also captures how Welsh politics works – by finding common ground and sharing good ideas.

“I look forward to working in partnership on this ambitious programme.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing politics.

“As Wales faces many challenges from Brexit, the climate emergency and the ongoing pandemic, co-operation has never played such a pivotal part in our democracy.

“The wide-ranging, radical policies included in the Co-operation Agreement – from free school meals for all primary pupils to extending free childcare to all two-year-olds – will change the lives of thousands of families in Wales for the better.

“I’m proud to sign this agreement with the First Minister and look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”

'A very odd agreement'

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart is far from impressed with the cooperation deal Credit: PA

Not everybody across Wales’ political spectrum is impressed by the deal, with the Conservatives having already denounced it.

On Wednesday, the UK Government’s Welsh Secretary Simon Hart told ITV Wales he believes “voters will rumble” what he said was an “absolute travesty” of an arrangement.

Mr Hart said the deal will “allow Plaid Cymru to claim credit for Welsh Government policies while continuing to call themselves an opposition party”.

Mr Hart continued: “This agreement is very odd insofar as Plaid Cymru now are bound by collective responsibility. 

“So, you know, there’ll be a Plaid Chair of the Finance Committee scrutinising a government that he can’t, because of collective responsibility, vote against. 

“That is an absolute travesty that flies right in the face of natural justice, democratic principles and I'm astonished they can do that with a straight face. 

“I mean, forget the legalities of it, seems to me to be very curious when you can be both government and opposition at the same time in the same building, and I'm amazed. 

“I don't think people will tolerate that. I think people will rumble that quite quickly.”

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