Wales

Labour conference pledge to 'stand up for Wales'

Carwyn Jones
Image caption Carwyn Jones says his party arrives at the conference in "buoyant mood"

Welsh Labour is to launch its annual conference with a pledge to "stand up for Wales".

With the party ahead in the polls, it is Labour's final get-together before May's assembly election.

Welsh Labour leader and First Minister Carwyn Jones said his party was "buoyant", with the next few a "pivotal period in Welsh politics".

Labour will use the conference in Llandudno to unveil policies for the election.

The party has pledged to create an extra 500 Police Community Support Officers if it wins the election.

On Thursday it said it would establish a £25m fund to create jobs for unemployed people aged 25 and under. It has also pledged to improve access to GPs.

Mr Jones said Labour was in a "buoyant mood" ahead of the election, and the referendum on the assembly's law-making powers on 3 March.

"The next few months provide a pivotal period in Welsh politics, and Welsh Labour has a huge role to play in shaping our nation's future," he said.

"We will not stand by and watch the Tory-led coalition rip the heart out of our communities."

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Carwyn Jones said there was no question of Labour fighting the assembly election with Plaid Cymru, its coalition partner in the "One Wales" assembly government.

"It's up to Ieuan and myself to decide the disengagement process and no-one else. We have 3 March to get out of the way first and then we'll be looking at how we disengage."

He said the parties would bring the One Wales agreement to its "natural conclusion and then it's time to fight for every vote in the election in May".

'Govern alone'

"There's no question of campaigning together.

"The One Wales agreement I think has served Wales well for the past four years but there's an election coming and the people of Wales deserve to have their say.

"I think it would be quite wrong for politicians to be saying beforehand what the shape of the government would be after May."

He said Labour would be "fighting to get a majority and make sure that we can govern alone. I'm sure that's true of other parties as well".

Mr Jones said he would be fighting the election with a "positive" message.

"I think people in Wales hold very dear the three principles of fairness, justice and equality of opportunity. I think that we as a party can encapsulate all those ideas.

"We'll be saying we're the party that best represents your views and your principles and on that basis we're going to be positive.

"We also think that it's important we cam provide people with hope at a time when all they're hearing is message of doom."

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