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Yes we can now: Hain changes his mind on referendum chances

Peter Hain has changed his mind about the chances of a Yes vote succeeding in next year’s referendum on strengthening the powers of the Assembly.

You may remember that, when he was Welsh Secretary, Mr Hain repeatedly expressed his doubts about holding a referendum because it wasn’t “winnable.”

In this speech just over a year ago he said,

“Unless public opinion shifts significantly, it is clear to me that a referendum held before or in 2011 would be lost.”

When I interviewed him for tonight’s Sharp End,  I asked him if he’d changed his mind since last year.

The answer is yes: he does now think those who support further powers can win the referendum, although he thinks it’ll still be ‘a hard slog.’

So what was different last year?  In part, he said, he didn’t think a Yes vote would be possible because of “an anti-politics feeling” as a result of the expenses scandal.

We also spoke about Mr Hain’s new role in re-organising the Labour party.

His defence of the leadership and comments about the way he reckons Labour lost touch with its own members and the public have been reported elsewhere.

I wanted to know more about that and whether or not he’d be able to devote enough time to his job as Shadow Welsh Secretary.

Find out what he had to say in tonight’s Sharp End just after 11pm on ITV1 Wales.

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About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.

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