Wales politics

Stephen Crabb sets St David's Day deadline for further devolution

Stephen Crabb MP
Image caption Stephen Crabb said voters had not asked him about devolving powers in nine and a half years as an MP

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has set a deadline of St David's Day next year - 1 March - to secure agreement on the future shape of Welsh devolution.

Mr Crabb told MPs that he wants to publish "a set of commitments" on transferring further powers to Wales.

He said he hoped to free up more space in Welsh political discourse to debate issues that matter more to voters.

On Tuesday, First Minister Carwyn Jones said discussions about Wales' future powers should be completed by January.

Mr Jones was speaking in a debate in which all four parties in the assembly backed a joint motion calling for the Welsh and UK governments to agree by then much extra funding Wales needs.

The motion also urged UK ministers to devolve further tax-varying powers and to establish a new system intended to make it clearer what powers the assembly holds.

Addressing the Welsh affairs committee at Westminster on Wednesday, Mr Crabb said he could not remember anyone "on the doorstep" raising the question of devolution with him.

He said he hoped the commitments on transferring further powers would demonstrate to Wales "a cross-party consensus on a way forward for Welsh devolution".

In October, Mr Crabb said he had agreed with Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats to develop plans demonstrating "that we're serious about strengthening devolution and making it work for all the people".

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