First Minister’s authority undermined by Labour MPs

Jonathan Edwards MP, Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales Treasury spokesperson said today that Labour MPs had fatally undermined the authority of the First Minster following their abstention on a key House of Commons vote to implement the first part of the Silk Commission.

Mr Edwards also accused the ruling Tory-Lib Dem Coalition and Labour of undermining the work of the Silk Commission.

Plaid MPs pushed a vote during a debate on the Finance Bill, based on a precedent set last year by the treasury to devolve Airport Duty Tax to Northern Ireland.

Mr Edwards said:

“On Tuesday, the First Minster boasted in the Senedd that the Silk recommendations needed to be implemented as soon as possible and without delay for the sake of the Welsh economy. Today, that pledge was put to the test in the House of Commons, and Labour MPs turned their back on him.

“It shows the First Minister has no influence over his bosses in London. If Labour MPs don’t take what the First Minister takes seriously then why should anyone else?

“Quite frankly, following the debate we had at Welsh Grand Committee following Silk publishing his first report, I expected Labour to put forward their own amendments to the Finance Bill. It goes to show that the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales lacks the political ability to deliver a promise, or is going out of his way to undermine the First Minister.

“The reality is that all three unionist parties are deliberately undermining the work of the Silk Commission. The Welsh Office Ministerial team were not even here to defend the UK Government’s inaction on this issue. Not only is it a slur on the House of Commons, it is a slur on the people of Wales.

“The Silk report called for immediate progress on empowering Wales with minor job creation levers. This was the first legislative opportunity to do so and they failed to support the Party of Wales in bringing this measure forward.

“It just goes to show that when it comes to the Welsh national interest, you can rely on all three London parties to stab the people of Wales in the back.”


On Tuesday, the First Minister commented:

In my view, the most important thing is to ensure that Silk part 1 is progressed, then Silk part 2, and, after that, in line with the current timetable, to look at devolution across the United Kingdom in order to secure a more robust settlement in all parts of the United Kingdom than is currently the case.

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