'Widening gap' between Welsh and UK Labour leaders, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader claims

Plaid Cymru has called out the Welsh and UK Labour parties for the "widening gap" between their two leaders. Credit: PA Images

The "widening gap" between the Welsh and UK Labour leaders is leaving the views of Welsh people "ignored", Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader has claimed.

Liz Saville Roberts MP told her party's conference in Aberystwyth that Plaid Cymru is the "only party fighting for Wales in Westminster".

She criticised Labour MPs from Wales for "siding with the party's London bosses" rather than Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP referred to issues of disagreement between Mark Drakeford and SIr Keir Starmer, including the campaign for more transport funding for Wales, the devolution of the Crown Estate, proportional representation and the devolution of policing.

Liz Saville Roberts said Plaid Cymru is "the only party fighting for Wales in Westminster". Credit: PA Images

Ms Saville Roberts said: "With the gap between Mark Drakeford and Keir Starmer widening, Labour MPs - who should be representing Wales' interests - ignore or pour scorn on the views of their Welsh Labour in the Senedd, who increasingly follow Plaid Cymru's lead.

"Take the devolution of policing and justice. Plaid Cymru and Mark Drakeford are on the same page.

"But the First Minister's London bosses and Labour MPs in Westminster are protesting passionately for hoarding powers in Westminster – despite all of the evidence of the social damage and waste of resources it’s causing.

"Plaid Cymru – and only Plaid Cymru – fights for Wales in Westminster."

The Welsh Government outlined proposals for a devolved justice system in May 2022 and warned the current Westminster-run system is "pulling the shutters down" on access to justice.

But a report launched by Sir Keir detailing how Britain could look under a Labour UK government stopped short of backing those calls in December.

  • National Correspondent Rob Osborne has the latest from the conference.

On Thursday, the Labour leader told ITV News he talks to Mr Drakeford "regularly" and their teams "talk to each other all of the time".

He did not answer whether he thinks the recent introduction of a 20mph default speed limit would lose his party votes in the next general election, instead claiming that people are more worried about the cost of living.

When asked whether he would introduce the same policy in England, Sir Keir said "it's obviously a question for local councils in England to decide what they want to put in place".

Last month Mr Drakeford revealed that he had received "vile physical threats" over the 20mph changes.

The Welsh Government's said extensive consultation and research has taken place on the policy and it will save lives.

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