Carwyn Jones is the leader of Welsh Labour [Image: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters].

Carwyn Jones is the leader of Welsh Labour [Image: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters].

The next few years are going to be tricky for Welsh Labour.

Carwyn Jones is back in the driving seat as First Minister in the Welsh Assembly, but only with conditional backing from Plaid Cymru, meaning agreed, joint priorities will take precedence.

After that, the going may get a lot tougher.

And in the background, UKIP’s seven AMs and the Conservative Party’s 11 will no doubt wish to do everything they can to disrupt what the Tories see as the “cosy” deal between Plaid and Labour.

An unprecedented deadlock over who would lead the Welsh government has been resolved after days of talks between Labour and the nationalist party, Plaid Cymru.

Labour won 29 of the 60 seats in the assembly elections and it had initially been assumed that the party’s leader and incumbent first minister, Carwyn Jones, would head a minority government without a fight.

But although Plaid Cymru won only 12 seats, it put forward its leader, Leanne Wood, for the first minister role and, with support from the Conservatives and Ukip, which won assembly seats for the first time, the vote was tied.

If no solution had been agreed, a new election would have been called.

Labour and Plaid – the second biggest party – issued a joint statement on Tuesday announcing that the impasse was over.

“We are pleased to confirm that the Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru groups have today contacted the presiding officer in order to recall the assembly tomorrow, and proceed with the nomination procedure for first minister,” they said.

“This will allow the successful nomination of Carwyn Jones as first minister, and the establishment of a Labour minority administration. This follows constructive and positive talks about the parties’ shared priorities for the coming assembly, and future working arrangements.”

Source: Plaid Cymru and Labour reach Welsh assembly deal | Politics | The Guardian


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