Wales politics

Kirsty Williams: Lib-Dem devo progress risk warning

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Media captionWhat new powers are going to be devolved to Wales?

Concerns over progress on cross party talks about the future of powers for Wales are being raised by the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

An announcement is expected later in the week on new devolved measures.

BBC Wales understands that a consensus is emerging on energy and electoral matters in Wales - but not on police and criminal justice.

Lib-Dem leader Kirsty Williams says Welsh devolution risks being "held back" .

The new picture of devolved powers likely to be set out by St David's Day is the result of joint talks between MPs and AMs from all parties, after further powers were considered in Scotland following the independence referendum.

Image caption Energy, voting, police and justice - just which powers will be devolved?

Kirsty Williams said: "We have always said we would do everything we could to see progress on the settlement here in Wales. We would like to see full implementation of Silk Two.

"What is clear is that other political parties don't share that aspiration and what has always been my concern in this process is that, as is the story of Welsh devolution, we will be held back by the slowest member of that particular team.

"We have been constantly battling against that."

When asked who is the slowest member, she pointed to the Conservatives on criminal justice issues and described Labour's shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith as being "highly cautious and Conservative with a small c in his approach to additional powers coming here to the Assembly."

'Wait and see'

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies has insisted that this week's announcement on future powers will "once and for all put many of the constitutional arguments to bed".

"It will not satisfy everyone because in that room you have got a package of measures from a party that wants full independence, Plaid Cymru, to maybe a more cautious approach that is viewed by the other politicians," he said.

The Welsh Labour Party said it was still waiting for the "fair funding issue" for Wales to be resolved by Westminster.

A party spokesperson added: "We will wait and see what the offer is from the St David's Day process and respond to that at face value. We said from the outset that this was a knee-jerk reaction to events in Scotland, and a proper four nation solution is what that UK truly needs."

Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood said this was "Westminster's last chance to deliver equality for Wales on its own terms".

"We're told that we're a family of nations - it's time Wales was treated as an equal," she said.

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