The fault lines of Welsh politics have been redrawn

Plaid Cymru’s leader argues that the UK parties are no longer pretending to represent Wales.

Leanne Wood. Image,

Since devolution, Labour and the Conservatives have sought to create a specific ‘Welsh’ brand. This week, they reverted to their true Westminster colours and in doing so changed the nature of the Welsh political debate for the foreseeable future.

Together, they voted to support the Westminster power grab that is the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. In Wales, Plaid Cymru was the only party to oppose it.

Labour, the Conservatives and UKIP spent the debate on this flagship Brexit Bill congratulating each other and reiterating their support for Westminster’s rule over Wales.

This rediscovered love for Westminster was reaffirmed the following day, during a debate on the future of welfare in Wales. During the debate, the Labour minister responsible claimed that he would not call for the devolution of elements of the welfare system as this means people in Swindon may be treated differently from the people of Wales.

Yes, Swindon is what you read. The Labour Welsh Government is more worried about the people of Wiltshire, than the people it purports to represent.

Not only does this question their basic understanding of devolution, it raises a serious point of principle – is the Labour Welsh Government standing up for Swindon or for Wales?

If elements of the welfare system were devolved, the Labour Welsh government could make tangible changes to mitigate the worst of the Conservatives’ cruel welfare cuts. Instead, they choose to write letters to Westminster ministers who simply ignore them.

The conclusion is, in fact, a simple one – Labour is not a party of principle, but of political expediency. Shunning responsibility in favour of helpful political…

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