From partner to passenger. That’s what Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones became in the words of Welsh Labour spokespeople today.
Mr Jones has been Economic Development minister as well as Deputy First Minister for the last four years of coalition government in Cardiff Bay.
And when asked to list his achievements, he frequently points to the ProAct and ReAct schemes to help businesses cope with the economic crisis.
But Labour said today he shouldn’t. The party’s Vaughan Gething said that both schemes were ‘driven through by Labour ministers from inception’ and that the former First Minister Rhodri Morgan ensured that responsibilities for delivering the schemes remained with Labour ministers.
I asked him for clarity. Was he saying that Plaid ministers, and in particular the Plaid minister responsible for economic matters, had nothing to do with ProAct and ReAct
Ieuan Wyn Jones was in the room. He took part in the summits, but there clearly Welsh Labour leadership. Plaid trying to claim credit for ProAct and ReAct is like a bus passenger claiming credit for driving the bus.
Plaid won’t take this lying down. A spokesman said it was simply wrong to claim anything other than that Mr Jones and his department were right at the heart of both schemes.
Plaid acknowledges that both parties were jointly responsible for delivering both schemes.
But the spokesman said that Ieuan Wyn Jones not only delivered them but ‘drove them from the start.’
UPDATE 1355 I’ve just had a formal response from Plaid:
Labour is now reduced to making ridiculous claims about Plaid’s record in government in order to avoid talking about their record of failure over the past 12 years. Wales’ children are being left behind due to Labour’s mismanagement of our education system. We can’t afford 5 more years of Labour failure.