Wales politics

Jeremy Corbyn gets on 'just fine' with Mark Drakeford

Image caption Jeremy Corbyn says he wants the people to have a choice on Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he gets on "just fine" with Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford, calling him a "welcome visitor" to the shadow cabinet.

Mr Corbyn denied splits between UK and Welsh Labour on issues such as Brexit and the reselection of MPs.

Mr Drakeford wrote to party members this week saying Welsh Labour will back Remain in any future referendum.

Mr Corbyn has said Labour will deliver the Brexit option people choose in a referendum if the party wins power.

Asked about the timing of Mr Drakeford's letter, sent on the eve of the Labour Party conference, Mr Corbyn acknowledged Welsh Labour's policy, but said the UK Labour party would "ensure that there is a real, credible choice put before the British people".

Mr Corbyn says a Labour government would renegotiate a Brexit deal with the EU and then put it to voters in a referendum with Remain as the other option. He has refused to say which side he would back.

The policy has been criticised by high profile members of the Welsh Labour government.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething tweeted that Labour would "deserve all the ridicule we get" if candidates have to campaign on the basis that they will negotiate a new Brexit deal which they might then campaign against in a referendum.

He called the policy "Utter BS".

Mark Drakeford Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mark Drakeford was under intense pressure within Welsh Labour to back Remain

But Mr Corbyn denied the policy would confuse Welsh voters. He said Mr Gething has used "fruity language" but said the public "will get the offer of Remain with reform or Leave with this particular deal, the government and the Liberal Democrats are not offering that".

Asked whether he would support Leave or Remain in a referendum - Mr Corbyn said: "What I intend to do is ensure the whole of the UK will make that decision".

On Wednesday, Mr Drakeford, Wales' First Minister, insisted his letter to Welsh party members, reiterating his backing for Remain was "not intended" as a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn.

But Mr Drakeford was critical of the governing body of the Labour the Party, the NEC, for refusing to devolve control of the re-selection of Welsh MPs to the Welsh party.

The Welsh Labour leader said that the NEC had not given the issue "the understanding it needed".

Another Welsh member of the NEC, AM Mick Antoniw said: "I think there's a lack of understanding of the fact that Labour's in government in only one part of the UK and that's in Wales, and they should pay more attention to that."

Mr Corbyn said the NEC's decision was "absolutely not a rebuff" to Mr Drakeford but "the rules surrounding trigger ballots and re-selection must be same for the whole of the UK…..It is a UK wide party operating as a UK group."

The full interview with Jeremy Corbyn will be broadcast on Sunday Politics Wales on BBC One Wales at 10:00 BST on 22 September, and the programme will be available later on iPlayer.

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