Nick Clegg in Newport: Deputy PM attacks Welsh first minister over NHS

South Wales Argus: Welsh Liberal Democrats Spring Conference 2014 in Newport.  Rt Hon Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats speaking on stage at the University of Wales City Campus. (5167350) Welsh Liberal Democrats Spring Conference 2014 in Newport. Rt Hon Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats speaking on stage at the University of Wales City Campus. (5167350)

UPDATE 13:50pm: Lib Dem UK Government Business secretary Vince Cable said there would have to be fewer MPs and fewer councillors if there was to be more AMs.

Speaking to journalists at Newport's university city campus, Mr Cable said the Lib Dems believe more members of the Assembly would mean the Welsh Government could be better held to account.

He said his party supported the major recommendations in the second Silk Commission report which called for policing, youth justice and other powers to be devolved.

“I don’t know about every little bit of small print but we agree with the major recommendations, the major thrust of it and want to support it," he said.

One of the recommendations was that the Assembly should have more AMs.

Asked by the Argus if he supported the idea, Mr Cable said: “The view the party’s coming to is that that would enable better accountability for the government.

"But we’re also conscious of the public mood - too many politicians and they’re all a bit expensive.

“The corollary of having more AMs would be fewer MPs and fewer councillors, and that’s how it would be balanced up. The exact number work is something that would need to be thought through.”

12:50pm: THE deputy prime minister has attacked Carwyn Jones saying he needed to get his shoulders to the wheel and fix the Welsh NHS.

The Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg said the first minister was also reinventing history over rail electrification, but admitted that it “hasn’t become easier” for the Lib Dems to win seats from Labour at the next general election.

He spoke ahead of today's speech at the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference in Newport's city centre university campus, when he said his party would be the first to commit to devolving policing and a raft of other powers to Wales.

Mr Clegg told gathered Welsh journalists that it was “reprehensible that Carwyn Jones is seeking to pretend that a legitimate debate about standards of care in the Welsh NHS is all to do with Westminister politics.

“He should explain himself to the NHS patients in Wales that have seen a systematic failure to meet targets in Wales compared to the NHS elsewhere," he said.

“He should put his shoulder to the wheel and fix the problems of the NHS in Wales, that is what he’s there for... and not seek constantly to blame his own failings on Westminster politicians.”

The Argus asked, given the efforts put made 2010 to win Newport East, whether it was realistic he could have success in Labour areas like that seat.

“Self evidently in the seats that we didn’t win in 2010 up against Labour, it’s clearly not become easier to win those seats in the mean time,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean we give up."

Over the rail electrification debacle Mr Clegg said Carwyn Jones is “reinventing history”.

“It couldn’t be clearer, that the UK Government made a clear commitment to support electrification of the mainline to Swansea," he said.

"We all agreed that we need to see electrification of the Valley Lines but the financing mechanism of that is all through borrowing powers associated with the franchises, and the franchises are a devolved matter.

“Carwyn Jones did not object at that time.

“For him now two years later to concoct some excuse to wriggle out of his own the agreement that we reached with each other at the time is really quite cynical. I’ve said to him quite direct and forcefully that I think it is very unfair on the Welsh people to basically seek to wriggle out of commitments that we entered to in writing in the past.”

Addressing a packed lecture hall in the University of South Wales Newport city centre campus, Mr Clegg said the Scottish referendum represents an important moment for Welsh devolution.

“Because why not further devolution to Wales too,” he said.

Mr Clegg told conference that the Silk Commission challenged all parties to commit in their manifestos to transferring powers from Westminster to the National Assembly on transport, S4C, teachers’ pay, sewerage, energy consents, youth justice and policing.

“Last week, Ed Miliband came to Wales with a half-baked promise to make changes to the Welsh settlement, missing out a whole range of important recommendations made by Silk," he said.

“Where Labour failed to meet those challenges, the Liberal Democrats will rise to them and I will be the first party leader to fully commit my party to including those proposals in our 2015 manifesto.

“We are the only party that is willing and able to give the people of Wales more and better devolution."

He said that from tomorrow over one million Welsh workers will get “£700 back in their pocket” as a change in the income tax threshold to £10,000 comes into effect.

This will increase to £12,500 if the Lib Dems got into government again in Westminster, he said.

Speaking about the recent TV debates, Mr Clegg said the UKIP leader Nigel Farage was challenged to debate Britain’s membership of the EU “so that, for once, people would hear both sides of the argument: in versus out.”

He admitted they wouldn't be able to win the argument in just 120 minutes - but vowed to take his party's message around the country.

“Britain only has one truly internationalist party. There’s only one real party of in.... So we will fill the void left by our opponents – make no mistake.”

Delegates gave a round of applause when Nick Clegg referred to Kirsty William’s campaign for more nurses in the Welsh NHS.

“I want Kirsty in government in Wales because there is no one better placed to fight for a stronger government in Wales,” he said.

Mr Clegg finished up his speech saying his party “must fight and fight again to create a liberal Britain”, with the audience giving him a standing ovation

Comments (22)

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3:54pm Sat 5 Apr 14

snafu1 says...

The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum
The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum snafu1
  • Score: 29

4:04pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Aquarius says...

I agree that Labour in Wales hasn't got that much to be proud of, and their handling of a great many issues has not been satisfactory. I can well forsee a drop in support for them the next time round, even in the places that keep Wales in orbit in Cardiff Bay.

But I can't imagine any of the others would be any better. You hear Clegg's glove puppet Kirsty Williams constantly criticising the operation of the NHS in Wales, (not unnaturally perhaps), but I've never seen a single pledge or proper proposal as to what SHE would do about it.

Same with the Tories.

Clegg wants to be all things to all people so that he can side with whoever comes out best at the next election. Power - that's all he and the rest of them are interested in. There's no sense of PRINCIPLE whatsoever.

Welcome to politics in the UK.
I agree that Labour in Wales hasn't got that much to be proud of, and their handling of a great many issues has not been satisfactory. I can well forsee a drop in support for them the next time round, even in the places that keep Wales in orbit in Cardiff Bay. But I can't imagine any of the others would be any better. You hear Clegg's glove puppet Kirsty Williams constantly criticising the operation of the NHS in Wales, (not unnaturally perhaps), but I've never seen a single pledge or proper proposal as to what SHE would do about it. Same with the Tories. Clegg wants to be all things to all people so that he can side with whoever comes out best at the next election. Power - that's all he and the rest of them are interested in. There's no sense of PRINCIPLE whatsoever. Welcome to politics in the UK. Aquarius
  • Score: 22

4:35pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Llanmartinangel says...

snafu1 wrote:
The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum
Heaven knows I am no fan of Clegg but the real people needing confining to the history books inhabit Cardiff Bay.
[quote][p][bold]snafu1[/bold] wrote: The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum[/p][/quote]Heaven knows I am no fan of Clegg but the real people needing confining to the history books inhabit Cardiff Bay. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 21

5:13pm Sat 5 Apr 14

coalpicker says...

There is no doubt many problems in the NHS but if Clegg and his big business side kick Cable did something to stem the world population overflow into our country our housing situation would improve the threat to food growing space which we will desperately need in the foreseeable future would diminish,water would not be the problem it surely will be, our education would improve with the NHS certainly under less pressure .Do not
kick the useless assembly Mr Clegg do what the people of this country know you should be doing not what you are doing.
There is no doubt many problems in the NHS but if Clegg and his big business side kick Cable did something to stem the world population overflow into our country our housing situation would improve the threat to food growing space which we will desperately need in the foreseeable future would diminish,water would not be the problem it surely will be, our education would improve with the NHS certainly under less pressure .Do not kick the useless assembly Mr Clegg do what the people of this country know you should be doing not what you are doing. coalpicker
  • Score: -2

5:59pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Magor says...

Scrap WAG,we have got enough politicians trying to run the place from councils to the EU.
Scrap WAG,we have got enough politicians trying to run the place from councils to the EU. Magor
  • Score: 16

6:09pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Bobevans says...

coalpicker wrote:
There is no doubt many problems in the NHS but if Clegg and his big business side kick Cable did something to stem the world population overflow into our country our housing situation would improve the threat to food growing space which we will desperately need in the foreseeable future would diminish,water would not be the problem it surely will be, our education would improve with the NHS certainly under less pressure .Do not
kick the useless assembly Mr Clegg do what the people of this country know you should be doing not what you are doing.
Labour, Conservatives & Lib-Dems are all in favour of mass migration only UKIP stands alone saying we have to control migration
[quote][p][bold]coalpicker[/bold] wrote: There is no doubt many problems in the NHS but if Clegg and his big business side kick Cable did something to stem the world population overflow into our country our housing situation would improve the threat to food growing space which we will desperately need in the foreseeable future would diminish,water would not be the problem it surely will be, our education would improve with the NHS certainly under less pressure .Do not kick the useless assembly Mr Clegg do what the people of this country know you should be doing not what you are doing.[/p][/quote]Labour, Conservatives & Lib-Dems are all in favour of mass migration only UKIP stands alone saying we have to control migration Bobevans
  • Score: 15

7:22pm Sat 5 Apr 14

richie55 says...

The Libdems have as much chance of winning Newport East as Cardiff have of staying in the premier league...none!
The Libdems have as much chance of winning Newport East as Cardiff have of staying in the premier league...none! richie55
  • Score: 13

8:51pm Sat 5 Apr 14

scraptheWAG says...

layer upon layer upon layer of higher paid useless *** heads put them all in Cardiff bay and set the lot alight
layer upon layer upon layer of higher paid useless *** heads put them all in Cardiff bay and set the lot alight scraptheWAG
  • Score: 11

11:52pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Frankfurt says...

Clegg has destroyed the Liberal Party which will be wiped out at the general election next year. I hope he is proud of his achievement.
Clegg has destroyed the Liberal Party which will be wiped out at the general election next year. I hope he is proud of his achievement. Frankfurt
  • Score: 10

12:38am Sun 6 Apr 14

gingertom says...

He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.
He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS. gingertom
  • Score: 8

8:30am Sun 6 Apr 14

Frankfurt says...

gingertom wrote:
He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.
Not in my experience he isn't.
[quote][p][bold]gingertom[/bold] wrote: He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.[/p][/quote]Not in my experience he isn't. Frankfurt
  • Score: 0

9:07am Sun 6 Apr 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

An interesting article on the Welsh NHS debate can be found here:

http://www.opendemoc
racy.net/ournhs/juli
an-tudorhart/dont-be
lieve-camerons-hype-
welsh-nhs-has-much-t
o-teach-english
An interesting article on the Welsh NHS debate can be found here: http://www.opendemoc racy.net/ournhs/juli an-tudorhart/dont-be lieve-camerons-hype- welsh-nhs-has-much-t o-teach-english GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: 2

10:15am Sun 6 Apr 14

Mervyn James says...

Frankfurt wrote:
gingertom wrote:
He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.
Not in my experience he isn't.
Clegg/NHS/Wales The last gasp of a determined loser.... I hope he gets a real job to go to so he can get some understanding on what he talks about.
[quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gingertom[/bold] wrote: He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.[/p][/quote]Not in my experience he isn't.[/p][/quote]Clegg/NHS/Wales The last gasp of a determined loser.... I hope he gets a real job to go to so he can get some understanding on what he talks about. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Frankfurt says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
An interesting article on the Welsh NHS debate can be found here:

http://www.opendemoc

racy.net/ournhs/juli

an-tudorhart/dont-be

lieve-camerons-hype-

welsh-nhs-has-much-t

o-teach-english
Very good article. thanks for posting the link.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: An interesting article on the Welsh NHS debate can be found here: http://www.opendemoc racy.net/ournhs/juli an-tudorhart/dont-be lieve-camerons-hype- welsh-nhs-has-much-t o-teach-english[/p][/quote]Very good article. thanks for posting the link. Frankfurt
  • Score: 1

3:01pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Mr Holder says...

Mervyn James wrote:
Frankfurt wrote:
gingertom wrote:
He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.
Not in my experience he isn't.
Clegg/NHS/Wales The last gasp of a determined loser.... I hope he gets a real job to go to so he can get some understanding on what he talks about.
In the European Union, like that scum Kinnock!
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gingertom[/bold] wrote: He is quite right about carwyn jones and the NHS.[/p][/quote]Not in my experience he isn't.[/p][/quote]Clegg/NHS/Wales The last gasp of a determined loser.... I hope he gets a real job to go to so he can get some understanding on what he talks about.[/p][/quote]In the European Union, like that scum Kinnock! Mr Holder
  • Score: 3

11:13pm Sun 6 Apr 14

gingertom says...

The NHS in wales won't change in wales whilst people talk rubbish on here. I've Been messed around by the NHS in wales for over ten years but never mind people won't stand up to Labour or carwhinge they will just harp onto each other on this site and blame the Tories.
The NHS in wales won't change in wales whilst people talk rubbish on here. I've Been messed around by the NHS in wales for over ten years but never mind people won't stand up to Labour or carwhinge they will just harp onto each other on this site and blame the Tories. gingertom
  • Score: 2

11:18pm Sun 6 Apr 14

gingertom says...

In England they got patient choice which means you can pick where you want to be treated here you get stuck with the royal gwent or you have to pay to go elsewhere. Like it or lump it NHS in wales.
In England they got patient choice which means you can pick where you want to be treated here you get stuck with the royal gwent or you have to pay to go elsewhere. Like it or lump it NHS in wales. gingertom
  • Score: 1

8:36am Mon 7 Apr 14

Mervyn James says...

gingertom wrote:
In England they got patient choice which means you can pick where you want to be treated here you get stuck with the royal gwent or you have to pay to go elsewhere. Like it or lump it NHS in wales.
The answer is still the same, we DON'T have the funding for a welsh NHS, no-one here can clarify if England ran our NHS it would fare an iota better, since the money we get to run the NHS already comes from there, and they aren't going to give wales any more.

Political aggro from Tory bully boys at Westminster and their un-elected coalition partners dedicated to removing the NHS and despising the welsh labour majority, won't do a thing until Wales votes Tory again, which won't happen given their know hatred for Wales.

I cannot envisage any sort of Tory majority in Wales. AS for blaming the assembly, with tories in we would just blame them because nothing will change they don't want an NHS they want us all going private. Why would they pour money into it ?
[quote][p][bold]gingertom[/bold] wrote: In England they got patient choice which means you can pick where you want to be treated here you get stuck with the royal gwent or you have to pay to go elsewhere. Like it or lump it NHS in wales.[/p][/quote]The answer is still the same, we DON'T have the funding for a welsh NHS, no-one here can clarify if England ran our NHS it would fare an iota better, since the money we get to run the NHS already comes from there, and they aren't going to give wales any more. Political aggro from Tory bully boys at Westminster and their un-elected coalition partners dedicated to removing the NHS and despising the welsh labour majority, won't do a thing until Wales votes Tory again, which won't happen given their know hatred for Wales. I cannot envisage any sort of Tory majority in Wales. AS for blaming the assembly, with tories in we would just blame them because nothing will change they don't want an NHS they want us all going private. Why would they pour money into it ? Mervyn James
  • Score: -3

12:24pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Cymru Am Beth says...

snafu1 wrote:
The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum
I hope you are right.
This man would 'sell his soul to the devil' to gain a modicum of power.
[quote][p][bold]snafu1[/bold] wrote: The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum[/p][/quote]I hope you are right. This man would 'sell his soul to the devil' to gain a modicum of power. Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 3

12:34pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Crossbenchtory says...

Cymru Am Beth wrote:
snafu1 wrote:
The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum
I hope you are right.
This man would 'sell his soul to the devil' to gain a modicum of power.
Both these comments beg the same question, are you talking about Clegg or comrade Carwyn?

Equally descriptive of both of them.
[quote][p][bold]Cymru Am Beth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]snafu1[/bold] wrote: The sooner this two faced fork tongue individual is consigned to the history books the better roll on 2015 the Liedems won,t have enough mp,s to form a Quorum[/p][/quote]I hope you are right. This man would 'sell his soul to the devil' to gain a modicum of power.[/p][/quote]Both these comments beg the same question, are you talking about Clegg or comrade Carwyn? Equally descriptive of both of them. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 1

1:28pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Danfoss says...

No matter what party is in government, they are all as bad as each other. All the MP s and AM s are concerned about is their expenses, not what the people who elected them want. Why should they be allowed to claim expenses for attending meetings in London when there are loads of people who have to commute to their places of work at their own expense. It's our money that is being wasted on expenses when it could be used in the areas it is needed more.
The trouble is all these MP s , AM s and councillors are only really concerned on what effects themselves and only make token representation on behalf of their constituents.
No matter what party is in government, they are all as bad as each other. All the MP s and AM s are concerned about is their expenses, not what the people who elected them want. Why should they be allowed to claim expenses for attending meetings in London when there are loads of people who have to commute to their places of work at their own expense. It's our money that is being wasted on expenses when it could be used in the areas it is needed more. The trouble is all these MP s , AM s and councillors are only really concerned on what effects themselves and only make token representation on behalf of their constituents. Danfoss
  • Score: 2

2:10pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Cymru Am Beth says...

Danfoss wrote:
No matter what party is in government, they are all as bad as each other. All the MP s and AM s are concerned about is their expenses, not what the people who elected them want. Why should they be allowed to claim expenses for attending meetings in London when there are loads of people who have to commute to their places of work at their own expense. It's our money that is being wasted on expenses when it could be used in the areas it is needed more.
The trouble is all these MP s , AM s and councillors are only really concerned on what effects themselves and only make token representation on behalf of their constituents.
Absolutely spot on.
You have left out the largest group of trough feeders though, the MEP's.
Have you seen what these parasites claim in expenses?
[quote][p][bold]Danfoss[/bold] wrote: No matter what party is in government, they are all as bad as each other. All the MP s and AM s are concerned about is their expenses, not what the people who elected them want. Why should they be allowed to claim expenses for attending meetings in London when there are loads of people who have to commute to their places of work at their own expense. It's our money that is being wasted on expenses when it could be used in the areas it is needed more. The trouble is all these MP s , AM s and councillors are only really concerned on what effects themselves and only make token representation on behalf of their constituents.[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot on. You have left out the largest group of trough feeders though, the MEP's. Have you seen what these parasites claim in expenses? Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 1

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