Wales politics

Nick Clegg calls for all-party Welsh devolution pledge

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMore powers for Scotland could result in more powers for Wales, Nick Clegg says

Nick Clegg has said he wants to see an all-party pledge for further devolution to Wales similar to one for Scotland.

It follows a promise by leaders of the three main UK parties to give the Scottish Parliament more powers over tax and social security if a majority rejects independence in the referendum.

Speaking during a visit to Cardiff, the deputy prime minister said the Lib Dems had always "pioneered" devolution.

He hoped the Tories and Labour would work with his party on plans for Wales.

Mr Clegg's comments came during a tour of a British Gas call centre in Cardiff on Tuesday where he saw a UK government work placement scheme for young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

'Next frontier'

The deputy prime minister said the cross-party pledge to Scotland could be extended.

"I think it would be great if we could do the same thing in Wales," he said.

"I am the only party leader who has committed to put the recommendations of the so-called Silk 2 report - the next frontier of further devolution; policing, energy and so on - into our manifesto.

"I would very much hope that the Labour and Conservative parties will follow suit.

"I think the example of what we are doing in Scotland will actually increase the likelihood of a cross-party consensus in favour of further devolution to Wales as well."

Image caption Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond will debate Scottish independence live on TV

People in Scotland will go to the polls on 18 September to decide whether to leave or stay in the United Kingdom.

A televised referendum debate between Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and former Chancellor Alistair Darling will take place on Tuesday night in front of a live studio audience.

Mr Salmond will put the case for Scottish independence while Mr Darling, chairman of the pro-union Better Together campaign, will argue for Scotland to remain in the UK.

Speaking to BBC Wales, Mr Clegg emphasised the importance of a positive relationship between the Welsh and UK governments.

"We have touched on the need to move forward on further devolution to Wales," he said.

"There is a crucial period coming up where all the parties will need to explain in their manifestos what their vision is.

"I think this is a good time, not least in view of the debate in Scotland, for all parties to come together in a more consensual way, working across party boundaries to give an even stronger sense of nationhood to Wales."

More on this story