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Politics

Clegg attacks Welsh Government

Here in Birmingham, the Liberal Democrats are in robust mood, defending both their decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives and decisions taken since then as well as taking a firm line with both their current allies and current opponents.

It’s that approach behind a stinging attack by the party’s leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, on Labour’s record when it comes to Wales in two key areas.

His comments come in an interview with my colleague Esyllt Carr which you can see here .

On devolution he said,

“We’ve already devolved more power more quickly to Wales in eighteen months than Labour did in thirteen years and that’s something that should be acknowledged.”

And on the health service he said,

“Labour in Wales are letting the people of Wales down. You’ve now got NHS performance in Wales which is significantly worse than elsewhere in the United Kingdom and all that Carwyn Jones and the rest of the Labour party in Wales can say is, ‘we’re not going to do anything; we’re just going to sit on our hands.’

“That’s unfair on patients in Wales, it’s unfair on communities in Wales.”

As you can imagine that’s drawn an equally stinging response from the Labour Welsh Government.

A source close to the Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said,

“Nick Clegg is in no position to give lectures to anyone about NHS performance. His Government is presiding over growing waiting lists in England.

“When it come to Welsh waiting times – if orthopaedic performance was excluded – the Welsh government has achieved its target every month since 2009.”

“Nick Clegg and the Tories are obsessed with dismantling the NHS through introducing marketisation and competition.”

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, speaks to the conference on Wednesday. You can expect more fighting talk then and in the intervening days.

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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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