Calman response contrasts with Hain's roadblock - Williams

2009 Tachwedd 25 4:56 PM

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has hit out atWelsh Labour's attempts to delay any discussion on the All WalesConvention report, after Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy today confirmedthe Government would be bringing forward the recommendations of theCalman Commission.

The Calman Commission report was published in June, and the ScottishSecretary has published a White Paper that will now be brought forward.

Yesterday, there was widespread anger after a statement from the WelshLabour Party suggested that they would not start to consider the AllWales Convention until after the General Election. The First Ministerwas forced to issue a statement confirming he continued to favour anearly referendum, and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain will make a statementto the Welsh Assembly later this afternoon.

Commenting, Mark Williams said:

"The contrast between the Scottish Secretary's attitude to devolutionand the Welsh Secretary's could not be more stark.

"While in Scotland recommendations have been accepted and will beimplemented, Welsh Labour are trying to delay any discussion about theAll Wales Convention until after the General Election.

"The Assembly must have the opportunity to discuss requesting areferendum well before the election, and if Peter Hain decides to usehis veto, he will have to justify that decision - one that would fly inthe face of democracy.

"The big question is not what the Welsh Labour party think, but whetherPeter Hain will deny the Assembly's democratic will if it uses itspowers to request a referendum."

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