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An unfortunate episode

Betsan Powys | 17:49 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Hello, I'm Bethan Lewis - a Political Reporter for BBC Wales and second off the subs bench to update the blog while Betsan's on holiday. Thanks to our Parliamentary Correspondent Arwyn Jones for filling us in on the gossip from the Eisteddfod last week. He's now taking a pre-season break before returning to Westminster for the early return of MPs at the start of September.

Arwyn blogged last week about the First Minister's sort of, almost, not-quite launch of a Yes campaign for the referendum on further Assembly powers on the Eisteddfod maes.

In his speech he said only a 'yes' vote would give Wales the chance of securing more funding from the UK Treasury.

According to Mr Jones, the UK government would not see the need to review the way Wales is funded via the Barnett formula if the Welsh public reject more powers.

Welsh Conservatives and the Treasury have rejected the link and so in a press release today has the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams.

She claims the First Minister is "in danger of dividing the Yes campaign before it even gets off the ground."

She's written to Carwyn Jones and asked for his assurance that he'll "avoid hijacking the referendum issue in this way for party political advantage" in the run up to next year's referendum.

Not averse to some party politicking herself it seems, Kirsty Williams reminds Mr Jones that the Barnett formula "was was one invented by your party and sustained by successive Labour governments".

Party politics will go on in the months leading up to the vote but it's an indication of the challenge of coming up with a coherent campaigning message for the referendum which will satisfy all the parties involved.

The Lib Dems and those Tories who will feature in a yes campaign won't tolerate too much UK government bashing.

Kirsty Williams calls for them all to move on, but there's potential for this type of "unfortunate episode" to be repeated over the next few months.

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