EU budget: How did your MP vote? Labour/Plaid spat
- 1 November 2012
- From the section Wales politics
David Cameron woke up today to the sort of headlines previously reserved for John Major.
Last night's rebellion over Europe is variously described as "humiliating", "embarrassing" and "stinging".
It was certainly bad news for the Conservatives' new chief whip, Sir George Young, and his team, although Welsh whip Stephen Crabb will be relieved that none of his flock was among the 53 rebels.
Only Glyn Davies didn't vote - and he had permission to miss the division due to a medical appointment elsewhere.
Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd, was similarly incapacitated, but his two colleagues Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards voted with the government against a move to cut the EU budget.
Mr Edwards said: "We decided not to support the crazy right-wing Conservative Eurosceptics last night because Wales receives vast sums of money from the European Union. CAP payments alone total well over £300m per year while convergence funding is near the £150m mark per year."
It wasn't just Labour MPs supporting "the crazy right-wing Conservative Eurosceptics" - the Scottish members of the joint Plaid Cymru/SNP parliamentary group at Westminster also voted with the rebels.
But Plaid reserved their fire for Labour. Mr Edwards said: "We are amazed that Labour MPs representing communities in receipt of the highest form of structural aid would vote to reduce the money being invested in their communities. Labour's position last night was that they were in favour of repatriating regional policy and this would mean the end of structural aid enjoyed by Welsh communities.
"Considering that the British state does not have any economic equalisation measures, the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the state would widen considerably as a result. Inner London is by far the richest part of the EU while West Wales and the Valleys are among the poorest.
"Last night's vote was hugely significant and marks a realignment of the centre of gravity in Westminster politics towards a more Eurosceptic position. This is not in the interests of Wales and a very worrying development. I'm extremely disappointed that Labour have put short-term narrow political advantage first, without considering for a moment the long-term strategic implications of their actions."
Some Labour MPs were uncomfortable voting with Eurosceptic Tories but Labour whip Susan Elan Jones said: "I can't justify a situation where the Police budget in North Wales is cut by 20 per cent and local councils face massive spending challenges, but the EU budget goes up and up. Parliament was right to vote for real-term cuts in the EU budget.
"Labour MPs voted for cuts to the EU budget back in July and we still call on David Cameron to make it his number one priority to work at home and abroad to secure growth and job creation."