Labour's alternative Wales Bill: “Where on earth has the First Minister been until now?’

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Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has responded to the publication of the Labour First Minister's alternative Wales Bill by saying that it's "too timid, too little and far too late" given Labour's "damning record" of failing to secure more powers for the National Assembly.

She said that Labour had missed several opportunities to strengthen the devolution deal on offer to Wales, adding that the Assembly election provided a chance to elect a Plaid Cymru Welsh government willing to stand up to Westminster and demand respect for Wales and its people.

Responding to the First Minister's announcement, Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said:

"Where have Labour been until now? The First Minister's belated intervention on Wales' future begs the question: why weren't such proposals published during negotiations with the UK government? Wales could be in a much stronger position if the Welsh government had not dragged its heels.

"The First Minister should also clarify whether or not these are his proposals or Labour's proposals because he has repeatedly failed to carry his party on the matter of further devolution for Wales.

“The reality is that given Labour’s damning record of failing to secure more powers, this document isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. By sleeping on the job and repeatedly rejecting the idea of taking on more responsibilities in Welsh government, it was Labour who torpedoed the cross-party Silk Commission on more powers for Wales.

"Within a week of the Scottish referendum, Plaid Cymru published detailed proposals to deliver equality for Wales with the other nations of the UK. During negotiations with the UK Government, we presented a way forward that would deliver for people in Wales.

“Plaid Cymru has always argued that Wales should be offered the same package of powers as those being given to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Unlike Labour and the Tories, we won’t settle for Wales being treated as a second class nation.

“The boundary review will be implemented in three years, slashing Welsh representation in Westminster from 40 MPs to 29 MPs. That is why Wales must be urgently compensated for this power grab by increased representation and greater responsibilities in the National Assembly.

"The First Minister's proposals are too timid, too little, too late, from a government that isn't respected at home and isn't listened to at Whitehall.

"Wales needs a government that will stand up to Westminster and demand a deal which respects our nation and its people. That is what Plaid Cymru offers in May."

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