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Labour and Plaid Cymru approve Welsh government deal | Welsh politics


Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru’s ruling bodies have approved a deal for the parties to cooperate together in the Senedd.

Labour’s Welsh executive committee (WEC) approved the agreement and Plaid Cymru’s equivalent is reported to have done the same, although there has been no official confirmation from either side yet.

In a blogpost, Darren Williams, a member of Labour’s executive committee, said the WEC had “overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement”. He wrote: “The agreement included moves to establish rent controls; the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils; childcare for all two-year-olds; creation of a National Care Service; limits on second-home ownership; a replacement for council tax; the creation of a publicly owned construction company and an energy company; changes to the Senedd’s size and electoral system, including a statutory guarantee of gender balance; and measures to promote the Welsh language.”

At May’s election, Labour won 30 seats, one short of an absolute majority but enough to form a minority government. The two parties announced in September that they were in discussions over an agreement. Last month, the first minister, Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford, said the talks “can’t continue forever”.

Williams wrote that Drakeford presented the options to the WEC as a choice between the deal with Plaid “which could provide political stability for the duration of the Senedd term and enable Labour to get its programme through, or ad hoc agreements with other parties on an issue-by-issue basis”.

It is not a coalition agreement and Plaid members of the Senedd are not expected to be handed posts in government. But BBC Wales reported Plaid would be able to appoint special advisers to work on implementation of policies.

The Welsh Conservatives, which finished as the second biggest party in May with 16 seats to Plaid’s 15, said the deal would not deliver on either party’s policies.

A spokesperson said: “This is not a deal that works for Wales, it’s a deal that works for Mark Drakeford and [Plaid Cymru leader] Adam Price, a man who only back in April said another five years of Labour in power filled him with despair.

“Price has now decided to inflict that despair on the rest of the nation, and this deal is remarkable for its absence of solutions to fix the NHS – currently experiencing its worst performance on record – or improve the economy in Wales.”

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