“Labour is no friend of Wales’s” - Jonathan Edwards

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Plaid Cymru has launched an attack on the Labour Party, warning voters that Labour is “no friend of Wales”.

Highlighting the party’s voting record in Westminster, Plaid Cymru’s incumbent in Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, accused the Labour Party of “double dealing” with politicians willing to deceive voters in order to win their votes.

He accused the Labour Party of turning a blind eye to its record in the Welsh Government – voting against scrapping zero hour contracts, charging students £9,000 a year for their education and failing to keep public services in the public’s hands.

Voting for the Labour Party would be voting by tombola, says Mr Edwards, who says Labour MPs spend more time attacking their own leader than they do standing up to Theresa May.

  • The Labour Party says it is opposed to the spending cuts imposed by the Tories in Westminster but they voted with the Tories to implement £30 billion of spending cuts, focussed mainly on welfare benefits;
  • The Labour Party manifesto includes a commitment to scrap zero hour contracts but they opposed Plaid Cymru’s efforts to scrap compulsory zero hour contracts in Wales on seven separate occasions;
  • The Labour Party voted to double the income of the royal family despite austerity measures for the rest of the country;
  • The Labour Party voted with the Tories to reduce tax credit payments for the lowest paid workers;
  • The Labour Party manifesto includes a commitment to devolve policing to Wales, but their MPs have repeatedly opposed Plaid Cymru efforts to do so;
  • The Labour Party voted with the Tories to cut benefits for disabled people and those with long-term illnesses;
  • The Labour Party didn’t show up to vote to ensure the Prime Minister had to take into account the objectives of Wales when conducting negotiations with the EU;
  • The Labour Party voted against requiring future trade deals to have the approval of each of the four countries in the UK and instead voted for London to dictate terms.

Jonathan Edwards said:

“Every election the Labour Party says the same thing – that they are the party that can stop the Tories and that they will stand up for Wales but it is deeds not words that matter. Voting Labour doesn't stop the Tories - it gives us the status quo.

“Actions speak louder than words and the Labour Party's record speaks for itself.

"Labour is no friend of Wales’. When they do bother to turn up to vote, more often than not they vote against Wales’ interests, not with them.

“In Scotland they are working alongside the Tories in councils and are working together to win Westminster seats between them. Jeremy Corbyn himself has consistently voted against devolution – keeping Welsh natural resources in the hands of Westminster politicians; keeping Wales as dependent as possible on Westminster. It was a Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Wales that ensured the cross-party consensus on strengthening Welsh democracy was torpedoed through the so-called St David’s Day Process.

“Whether Jeremy Corbyn likes it or not, his MPs vote with the Tories when it comes to helping the poorest. Labour voted for the £30 billion package of spending cuts that was primarily focussed on capping welfare payments to those who need it. They voted to reduce tax credit payments for the lowest paid despite supporting a vote to double the income of the royal family.

“Their manifesto says they want free tuition fees but they could do this today in Wales where they govern. Instead, Welsh students are charged £9,000 a year to go to university, thanks to Labour. They say they want to scrap zero hour contracts but they have had seven separate opportunities to do so in Wales and on each occasion, they either abstained or voted against Plaid Cymru.

“Their manifesto says they are in favour of devolving policing but they have consistently opposed this when it has come to voting on it. In fact the incumbent Labour candidate in the Rhondda said this week that he opposes it, despite it being in his manifesto.

“Putting a cross next to Labour in this election would be voting by tombola. Will you get a Corbynista, a Blairite or a Brownite? The only thing that’s certain with the Labour Party is that they will always have to answer to their head office in London, and never to the people who elect them.

“Even if Jeremy Corbyn were to be Prime Minister, the only way to force him to take notice of Wales - to remember that we exist and to deliver on crucial projects that have been ignored by successive Tory and Labour governments, is to make sure there’s a strong, loud and united block of Plaid Cymru MPs in the House of Commons, standing up for Wales at all times.

“Scotland has its block in Westminster. Wales needs its own Welsh block.

“The only way to ensure our railways are electrified, that the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is delivered and that a road network fit for the 21st century is built across Wales is to vote for Plaid Cymru, the party of Wales.”

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