Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Apparently Plaid are shroud waving, whilst Labour are standing up for Constituents.

First Ministers Questions in the National Assembly  are usually a lacklustre affair  largely because of the lack of power . So any real argument tends to be based on Education or the NHS.
But like the Prime Minister Carwyn Jones usually fails to answer any question directly.
But Yesterday Carwyn , came a cropper over whether senior members of his own party are claiming an A&E department could close in an NHS shake-up.

Carwyn claimed that Plaid Cymru misled the assembly the assembly by saying A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital could close.

He said it was untrue to suggest A&E would be lost...

Responding to Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's comments during first minister's questions Mr Jones said:

 "She has said something that is untrue, misleading and wrong.

"She said that A&E services would be lost. That is untrue."

"She said that A&E services would be lost. That is untrue."

 But the Conservative AM  Darren Miller argued Labour htat Labour AMs and MPs s had also used terms like "disappearing" and "closing".

The day after the proposals were announced, four senior Labour figures including Education Minister Leighton Andrews and Shadow Welsh Owen Smith staged a photocall outside the hospital with placards reading "Labour says keep A&E at Royal Glam""

Mr Miler asked the first Minister.

"You have just accused Leanne Wood of misleading the assembly in respect of emergency services.
"Do you agree that your Labour colleagues, including a member of your own cabinet are also misleading the assembly, if you use the same yardstick?
"Because in a press release, Leighton Andrews says A&E services are 'disappearing' from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, and Chris Bryant has described the A&E department there as 'closing'.
"Do you condemn their shroud-waving in the same way that you have condemned shroud-waving before in this assembly when people scaremonger about the future of services in local hospitals?"
Mr Jones responded:
 "Chris Bryant is not a government minister, last time I looked. What is being suggested by the party opposite (Plaid Cymru) is that A&E services will completely disappear.

So what did they say ?

Labour Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said about the consultation:

 "I hope that the health board will see sense and realise that closing an accident and emergency unit at a hospital that is only 13 years old and accessible to both the communities in the Rhondda and Pontypridd is not the best use of NHS resources."

And Carwyn of course is correct Chris Bryant is a MP not an AM .

Leighton Andrews however is not only an AM but a senior member of Carwyn's cabinet

Mr Andrews responded to the proposals after the announcement by saying: 
"Safer and more reliable services have to be the priority but if accident and emergency services disappeared from the Royal Glamorgan hospital then most Rhondda people would have to travel to Cardiff, which would overburden services there."
It sems Leanne Wood condemning these proposals is "Shroud Waving"  whilst Leighton Andrews condemning them is voicing legitimate concerns on behalf of his constituents.

I have some sympathy for these Labour members if it is decided to take some A&E  and Maternity services from the Royal Glamorgan the public are going to take it out of them at Election time.

With Leanne Wood, choosing to stand against him Mr Andrews in particular must be worried..

But with an opposition united on this and Labour not having  a majority hes going to find it hard to rebel if the proposals are carried out and the opposition call for a vote of no confidence.

All the opposition parties will take advantage of this . But I suspect a bitter war with Plaid in particular and Labour trying to split the campaign against this and present themselves as the only party that can stop the proposals .

However I also suspect they will find this problematic . They won't be able to blame this one on the Westminster coalition the electorate will know whose in charge, whose  to blame and who to punish. 

1 comment:

  1. Classic barrister behaviour from Carwyn. Mentions that Chris Bryant is an MP not a Labour Minister. Ignores Leighton. I welcome this though. Shows Leanne is doing well. If only more people in Wales knew yesterday's exchange had even happened.