Election 24: Conservatives, Labour and Plaid Cymru quizzed on topics most important to Wales' voters

Conservative David TC Davies, Jo Stevens from the Labour party and Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts went head-to-head. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Senior representatives from the Conservatives, Labour and Plaid Cymru have gone head-to-head in the ITV Wales Debate.

Conservative David TC Davies, Jo Stevens from the Labour party and Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts answered questions on the most important topics decided by Welsh voters from ITV Cymru Wales's latest YouGov opinion poll.

Those topics were the cost of living, health, immigration and trust in politics.

Cost of living

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that the public spending increases proposed in Labour's manifesto are “tiny going on trivial”.

Jo Stevens dubbed Plaid Cymru's manifesto a "fantasy", adding: "I’m not accepting that the economic situation in this country needs to stay the same that it has for the last 14 years."

In response, Liz Saville Roberts said: "We have to look at a different way of dealing with our inequality, which is fundamentally unfair and especially unfair to Wales."

As the Conservatives have been in power for the last 14 years, David TC Davies defended his party's economic decisions.

He said: "We spent £400 billion during the Covid crisis and in the aftermath, we were quite right to do that but it has caused economic problems."

Before the general election was called Ms Saville Roberts was the Plaid Cymru leader in Westminster. Credit: ITV Wales


As health is devolved, David TC Davies took aim at the NHS here in Wales. He said: "Why is it that when I called an ambulance for my father-in-law at about 11am - it arrived at 5am the next day?"He then spent six hours outside the hospital waiting in an ambulance before they could take him in."

Labour's Jo Stevens admitted that there needs to be improvement to the health service in Wales.

She said: "We're training a record number of doctors and nurses in Wales... and we still have free prescriptions plus the NHS bursary which the Tories cancelled in England."

Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts said carers need to be paid more than £12 an hour. "We have to pay people more than that so it actually shows greater value to people who look after people, than people who stack supermarket shelves."

David TC Davies was appointed Secretary of State for Wales in October 2022. Credit: ITV Wales


David TC Davies, who has served as Secretary of State for Wales, was quizzed on the Conservatives record on immigration, which has risen over the past 14 years.

"We haven’t succeeded in stopping people completely," he said. "Millions of people are waiting in Africa to come over."

Liz Saville Roberts criticised the way politicians talking about immigration, saying the debate has become "poisoned".

She added: "There is something about our politics which has chosen to pick on some of the weakest people and to turn them into demons."

Former First Minister Mark Drakeford previously said that Wales needs more immigration - and Jo Stevens was asked if she agrees.

"I come from Cardiff, our city is built from immigration," she replied. "We wouldn't be where we are without immigration."

Jo Stevens is the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales. Credit: ITV Wales

Trust in Politics

Jo Stevens was asked if her party had damaged trust by rowing back on plans, including investment in green jobs and abolishing universal credit.

She said, "We cannot and we will not make unfunded commitments either in our manifesto or elsewhere that we cannot deliver.

The reason people are distrustful of politicians is because they have had so many years of broken promises and we have to turn that around."

Plaid's representative was asked if their co-operation agreement with Labour in the Senedd eroded trust in the party in the general election.

She said, "This sense of adversarial politics that we get from Westminster, the winner takes all and then they control everything - that has always left Wales on the sidelines."

David TC Davies was quizzed over the Conservative claim that Labour would impose a £2,000 increase on their tax bill. The figure has been widely criticized by the UK statistics watchdog.

He said that Labour had made uncosted promises in their manifesto, but added, "On the wider issue of trust. Members of all political parties in Westminster and the Senedd have allowed their standards to fall below an acceptable standard at times."