Wales politics

Labour's Jones downplays terror link with foreign policy

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Media captionCarwyn Jones: "No room for negotiation with these people"

First Minister Carwyn Jones has downplayed the link between British involvement in foreign conflicts and terror attacks in the UK.

In his first speech since the Manchester bombing, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would change UK foreign policy to reduce the risk.

But Mr Jones said he did "not think it would have made any difference".

"They are just fanatics. It is nothing to do with what is happening elsewhere in the world," he said.

Speaking on a BBC Wales Ask the Leader programme in Ebbw Vale on Friday, Mr Jones said of Mr Corbyn's proposal: "There'll come a time for considering that, but that's not the time this evening.

"Bluntly, these people they will hate us whatever we do, no matter what we do.

"If we do nothing at all, if we don't get involved in any military conflict, they will still try and cause harm and death to us.

"The only way of dealing with them is to have the right level of intelligence to make sure that, as Jeremy Corbyn said, that their supply of weapons is cut off, that their money supply is cut off, to remove the means where they can cause such destruction.

"There is no room for negotiation with these people, they will never ever accept anything other than what they want, and that is something we can never accept."

However, when asked if Jeremy Corbyn should be prime minister, Mr Jones said: "Yes. 100%"

Mr Jones had not named the leader of the Labour party at a general election campaign event earlier this year.

During the programme Mr Jones was asked about the effectiveness of European Union-funded programmes in the south Wales valleys, when many of the areas voted overwhelming for Brexit in the referendum last June.

He said: "The funding is working but it is quite clear that people do not believe it is."

Expert view - from Nye Davies of Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre

The upcoming election is going to be tough for the Labour Party. After a disappointing showing in 2015, it has failed to gain ground under leader Jeremy Corbyn and some in the party fear it could do even worse than it did last time out.

In Wales, a heartland for the party, Labour has come first in every general election since 1922. The first two Welsh polls since the election was called suggested that this dominance may well come to an end on 8 June. The data suggested that Theresa May's attempts to make this the "Brexit election" have been succeeding and were likely to lead to a Conservative breakthrough in Wales.

However, the most recent Welsh Barometer poll has put Labour back in the lead in Wales, rising nine percentage points. Despite this indication of an increase in support, Labour cannot afford to be complacent in Wales.

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