Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Labour should work with business, says Carwyn Jones

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCarwyn Jones says public and private sectors can create a 'virtuous circle' by working together

Labour needs to stress a pro-business message after its UK election defeat, First Minister Carwyn Jones said.

He said the Welsh Labour government had successfully worked with business to attract investment.

But a former Welsh Labour adviser has said the party in Wales is "in denial" about the seriousness of its defeat.

David Taylor, who was an adviser to Peter Hain at the Wales Office, said the first minister's response to the results was "complacent".

Labour lost Gower and the Vale of Clwyd to the Conservatives, and failed to take target seats such as Cardiff North and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Welsh Conservatives won in 11 constituencies, their best performance since 1983.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDavid Taylor, former Welsh Labour advisor, says the party is in denial following its defeat in the general election
Image caption Labour was disappointed to see Craig Williams (left) hold onto Cardiff North for the Tories

Mr Jones told BBC Wales it was "difficult to say" how Labour could restore its fortunes at a UK level, but he felt a more pro-business message would help.

"I think it's important that we send a message as a party that we work with business - we've done that in Wales.

"It's not public sector versus private sector - the two run together."


On the subject of the Labour party's future, Mr Jones said on Twitter that it was "time for change in the structure of our party to take account of the new politics", adding that "the Welsh Labour brand will need to be stronger".

His Welsh government colleague Leighton Andrews agreed with the need for a stronger Welsh Labour brand, but added: "We didn't lose Gower and Vale of Clwyd because we weren't Welsh enough."

The public services minister said there was a need for "clear analysis" of Labour's loss of those seats, and its failure to capture Cardiff North and the Vale of Glamorgan from the Conservatives.

Image caption David Taylor is warning of 'deeper trouble' for Labour in the 2016 assembly election without 'fundamental change'

But Mr Taylor accused the party leadership of being "in denial" about "the worst Labour result in 30 years".

"The results were catastrophic and the glib, the complacent response we've seen from the first minister and the Welsh Labour leadership so far is not going to cut it.

"These have been very tough results for Welsh Labour; we need deep thinking and deep change, not more of the same."

He said Mr Jones was an "excellent first minister", but that his title of leader of Welsh Labour "had to mean something" and carried "political responsibilities".

Mr Taylor added: "The party will be in deeper trouble at the assembly election next year unless we starting putting in place some fundamental changes, and fundamental policy changes."

Labour won the majority of seats in Wales with 25 out of 40, but had been hoping to improve on the 26 seats it won in 2010.

More on this story