Wales politics

Plaid Cymru angry over devolution 'stitch-up'

David Cameron and Nick Clegg
Image caption Plaid claims devolution plans unveiled by David Cameron and Nick Clegg left gaping holes

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has rejected a Plaid Cymru request to reveal which political parties restricted further devolution.

Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards claimed the draft Wales Bill showed "a lack of vision and ambition for Wales".

He accused Mr Crabb of "a back room Westminster stitch-up" for refusing to publish minutes of the process leading to the St David's Day agreement.

Mr Crabb said the parties had agreed to keep the discussions confidential.

Mr Edwards said: "Plaid Cymru entered those discussions in good faith, but over half of the Silk Commission recommendations discussed during the St David's Day Process were vetoed by the UK Government and the Labour Party.

"There are gaping holes in the draft Wales Bill, ranging from the devolution of Network Rail functions and funding; devolution of policing; the appointment of a Welsh Crown Estates Commissioner; devolution of S4C; review of devolution of criminal justice.

"The refusal of the Secretary of State to publish minutes of the meeting smacks of another back room Westminster stitch-up between the Tories and the Labour Party."

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP urged them to "put their tribal politics to one side and act in the Welsh national interest in improving this crucial Bill".

Mr Crabb replied in a written parliamentary answer: "I held a large number of meetings as part of the St David's Day process.

"These included meetings with the parliamentary representatives of the four main political parties in Wales to identify which Silk Commission recommendations had political consensus to be taken forward.

"It was agreed that discussions at these meetings would remain confidential, and the Government has no plans to publish minutes."

A Wales Office source added later: "Plaid Cymru played a full part in the St David's Day Agreement and signed up to the political consensus that underpinned it.

"They cannot now pretend to have no idea how that consensus was reached."

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