Local MP leads election amendment in Commons

Plaid Cymru and the SNP have called on their fellow Scottish and Welsh MPs to get behind their bid to avert a potential election date clash by backing a Plaid / SNP led amendment tonight (Tuesday).

Carmarthenshire’s Jonathan Edwards MP and SNP MP Angus MacNeil will put forward a series of amendments which would alter the cycle of Westminster elections so they occur every four years as is the case with the devolved assemblies. It would also negate the scheduled election date clash with the 2015 Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly polls.

Mr Edwards and Mr MacNeil said they hoped their fellow Scottish and Welsh would work with Plaid and the SNP to send a strong message to the Con Dem Government about the importance of national elections in Scotland and Wales.

Commenting, Mr Edwards said:

“We need to send a clear message to the Tories and the LibDems that this ‘Disrespect Agenda’ will not be tolerated.

“When they take place, the Welsh Assembly elections, which determine priorities for Welsh public services such as health, education and transport, -must be the most important and only priority for voters in Wales.

“Since the UK election, we’ve seen Labour experience a ‘Damascene conversion’ to a raft of Plaid Cymru policies, from calling for a fair funding settlement to backing a referendum in Wales – and I’m sure this issue will be no different.

“Although Labour MPs have already voiced support for this amendment – it is now time to rise above the petty party politics.

“I hope that all Welsh MPs – Labour in particular – are fully supportive of this Plaid/SNP amendment tonight, because Wales and Scotland deserve better.”

Mr MacNeil added:

“Lessons must be learned from the 2007 Scottish elections. The Gould report into the confusion and disarray following the vote was very clear – different elections should not happen on the same day.

“The Con Dems have already ridden roughshod over the wishes of the Scottish and Welsh Governments by scheduling an AV vote on the same day as upcoming Scottish Parliament election and unless we pass this amendment, we’re on course for another date clash in 2015.

“It’s time for all MPs in Scotland and Wales to step up and get behind our amendment. Since the General Election, Labour, Liberal and Tory MPs have let Scotland and Wales down by failing to back SNP / Plaid amendments to stop the VAT rise and the AV referendum clash.

“We must work together and send a strong message to the Con Dem Government – elections in Scotland and Wales are a priority, not an inconvenience.”

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