Thursday, 12 May 2016

It's what Wales voted for, part 1

On Sunday Supplement at the start of the week, Plaid Cymru's Dafydd Elis Thomas said that he could not see himself pushing the same button as UKIP. Well, that resolve did not last long. Yesterday, Plaid pushed the same buttons as UKIP and the Conservatives in order to deadlock the Senedd. At a time when a First Minister should have been in place, selecting his ministers and readying himself to negotiate the policies to take Wales forward in these difficult times, decision-making is blocked.

One can understand UKIP, who have contempt for the Senedd and whose manifesto aimed to give power back to MPs and to local authorities, wanting to make Welsh government unworkable. Indeed, I warned against this at the start of the electoral campaign. The nationalists must have been driven by arrogance. But what drove the Conservatives to vote for a leader from the nationalists, whose philosophy must be even more antipathetic to them than Labour's?

Liberal Democrats have been consistent. The party's official response is "Under no circumstances will we work with UKIP." Kirsty Williams personally expressed exasperation: "I was not re-elected into the National Assembly to support a ragtag coalition made up of UKIP Assembly Members who at the moment can’t even agree with each other. That is not my politics and not something I will even contemplate. I am disappointed that Plaid think that this is a viable option.

"I wish it wasn’t the case, but the reality is Labour have 29 Assembly Members. It is therefore clear that they have the strongest mandate from the people of Wales. I therefore took the decision to vote for Carwyn Jones. It ended in a split vote and discussions will now need to take place to ensure Wales has a Government."

What happens now?

The Western Mail advises: "For the time being, Mr Jones will continue in the role as First Minister. Under Assembly rules, a First Minister must be nominated by the Assembly within 28 days of the election. The Assembly Members will have return to the Senedd to vote again. If the vote remains tied for 28 days, Wales can expect another election."

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