D IS FOR DEMOCRACY MR HAIN

Press Release by the Welsh Conservatives WELSH Conservatives today accused Welsh Secretary Peter Hain of jeopardising the future of devolution in Wales. It follows yet another intervention by the Labour minister into the Assembly’s affairs which could put Westminster and Cardiff Bay at loggerheads. Mr Hain is reported today as claiming a Labour government in London would not necessarily agree to bids for legislation from a coalition administration in Cardiff. Last month the Secretary of State demanded that regional Assembly Members receive smaller allowances than first-past-the-post AMs. He also threatened to step in if Assembly Members couldn’t agree on new standing orders before next May’s elections. The leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly Nick Bourne AM said: “I am seriously beginning to wonder whether Peter Hain thinks the democratic process is an inconvenient fact of life rather than something to embrace and work with rather than against. “In recent months he has tried everything he can to undermine the rights and rules of the Assembly to force through his party’s own agenda. “Peter Hain says he supports more powers for the Assembly, but only those that suit Labour’s own narrow interests. “The Secretary of State was quick to force through changes to the Assembly’s electoral system because it favoured the Labour Party. “It is clear that he is not so keen on electoral reform in local government because it will cost Labour seats in town halls across Wales. “While I am not necessarily sold on the idea of PR in local government, Peter Hain’s attitude smacks of high-handedness and colonialism. “It is undemocratic and makes a nonsense of his so-called approach to devolution.” Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan MP said: “Peter Hain is admitting there’s a real chance that Labour will not form a government after next May’s Assembly elections. “The people of Wales already know that his party’s record in Wales is appalling. “The attitude taken by the Secretary of State proves that I was right all along to say that the Government of Wales Bill was a purely political device to maintain Labour’s stranglehold on Wales. “It is worrying that with the ink barely dry on the Government of Wales Act Peter Hain is already flexing his muscles over Wales. “He is obviously dismissive of Welsh matters as he is so busy with Northern Ireland or his personal campaign to succeed John Prescott.” ENDS For further information, contact / Os am wybodaeth bellach, cysylltwch �: Richard Hazlewood Chief Press Officer / Prif Swyddog Y Wasg Welsh Conservatives / Ceidwadwyr Cymreig 029 2089 8395 07957 133832 richard.hazlewood@wales.gov.uk www.welshconservatives.com

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.