Policies have 'direct bearing' on Wales, says candidate

Carwyn Jones and Christina Rees
Image caption Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones and Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees arrive for the meeting to agree Labour's manifesto.

Move along now. Nothing to see here. Jeremy who....?

I paraphrase the Welsh Labour reaction to the leak of a draft of the party's UK manifesto. "Reports of leaked manifestos relate to an old, draft version of a UK document," said a spokesperson.

"It is not Welsh Labour's manifesto and contains many England-only proposals. Welsh Labour will be publishing its own distinct manifesto, building on the success of our five pledges for Wales."

The draft obtained by the BBC often does not say explain whether policies apply in Wales, Wales and England, or throughout the UK. It relies on the reader having more than a working knowledge of devolution. There is one paragraph under the heading "Wales" that does not reveal any new policies.

'Significance'

There is no commitment to the devolution of policing, to scrapping Severn crossing tolls or the Swansea tidal lagoon - all issues that have a significance beyond Wales.

That said, it is too easy to look only for references to "Wales" in the document - in any document - and ignore the impact of what is written in the rest of it. As Geraint Davies, who is defending Swansea West for Labour, put it: "Many of these policies will have a direct bearing on Wales...a lot of these things do apply to England and Wales."

Scrapping plans to raise the retirement age, the public sector pay cap and benefit cuts would have a far greater impact on the daily lives of people in Wales than some of the policies that find their way onto Welsh pledge cards. How to pay for them is another issue - Labour says its final manifesto will be fully-costed.

Welsh Labour is proud that, for the first time, its leader, Carwyn Jones, is taking part in the final meeting to sign off the UK manifesto. He will hope his influence is rather more noticeable in the final document than it is in the "old, draft version".

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