Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Welsh Secretary attacks Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband "doesn't give a toss" about Wales because his party has become an "elitist, metropolitan" organisation, a Cabinet minister has claimed.

Tory Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said Mr Miliband's approach "epitomises everything that's wrong" with the modern Labour Party.

But shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith said Mr Miliband was focused on the most important issue for Wales - the "cost of living crisis" caused by Westminster's "cut-price Tory Government".

Mr Crabb told the Western Mail that David Cameron had shown his commitment to Wales, through measures including bringing the Nato summit to Newport and a deal to electrify the rail network in the Valleys.

The Welsh Secretary, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: " You contrast that with Ed Miliband ... the guy doesn't give a toss about Wales. Wales has been a total blind spot for Labour."

Labour's Carwyn Jones is the Welsh First Minister, but Mr Crabb questioned Mr Miliband's commitment to his party colleague.

"How many times have you seen Ed Miliband standing shoulder to shoulder with Carwyn Jones this year, speaking up for Wales? He hasn't shown any interest in Wales.

"Ed Miliband's approach to Wales epitomises everything that's wrong about this elitist, metropolitan party that Labour has become."

Labour were "comfortable in a metropolitan, liberal world" that was "far removed from the challenges we're trying to deal with in Wales", he claimed.

" I think Ed Miliband would need to work incredibly hard to try to convinvce people that he's got even a fraction of the Prime Minister's commitment to Wales."

But Mr Smith said: "Coming from a man who has the loneliest job in politics - a Tory secretary of state for Labour-voting Wales - these comments are particularly amusing. Perhaps this is the pressures of the new job beginning to show, so I hope he enjoys his much-needed Christmas break.

"The truth is Ed Miliband is absolutely focused on the most important issue affecting Wales and the rest of the UK, which is the cost-of-living crisis - caused by this cut-price Tory government.

"That's why Labour is committed to scrapping the bedroom tax, increasing the minimum wage, freezing energy prices and banning exploitative zero-hour contracts.

"B y contrast, what is Stephen Crabb offering Wales: a £1.7 billion cut to the Welsh budget and now the prospect of reduced Welsh influence at Westminster. That is his legacy to Wales, as the Welsh people will remind him in May."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph