Wales politics

Jones 'stand united' call to Welsh Labour conference

Carwyn Jones
Image caption Carwyn Jones addressing last year's Labour conference in Brighton

First Minister Carwyn Jones has called on Welsh Labour to "stand united" as it gathers for the party's conference.

He said the Welsh Government was sticking to its promises and delivering the commitments it made to voters.

The conference in Llandudno is the first since the dramatic events that began with the death of former minister Carl Sargeant in November 2017.

It will also see the election of either Carolyn Harris or Julie Morgan as Welsh Labour's first deputy leader.

Mr Jones has been under intense pressure as this week he saw off opposition demands to publish a confidential report into last November's reshuffle, which included sacking Mr Sargeant as Communities and Children minister.

But the first minister threatened the assembly itself with legal proceedings over the publication of the report.

The inquiry into whether information about the reshuffle was leaked is one of three he ordered following Mr Sargeant's death, which happened just days after his cabinet dismissal.

Another report this week cleared the first minister of misleading the assembly over claims of bullying within the government.

In a statement before the conference, Mr Jones said: "While we should be rightly proud of what we have achieved together - Assembly members, councillors, parliamentarians and trades unions - we must also stand together, ready to face the challenges ahead.

"As Tory cuts to Wales bite deeper, protecting services becomes ever harder. And we must stand united, together, to face these challenges head on."

He added: "I said in 2016 that my Welsh Labour government should be judged on its record.

Image caption Either Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris and Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan will be Welsh Labour's first deputy leader

"And it is that record - one of promises kept, communities protected, and investment made - that provides the backdrop to this year's Welsh Labour conference.

"Today, we see a Welsh Labour Party staying true to our promises - and to our values."

The deputy leadership contest between Ms Harris, the Swansea East MP, and Mrs Morgan, the Cardiff North AM, has become a flashpoint in a debate about whether rank-and-file members should have a bigger say in electing the party's leaders.

Mrs Morgan has called for the introduction of one-member-one-vote elections, something the party's ruling executive rejected last year, while Ms Harris has supported retaining the current electoral college.

Proposals for a democracy review within the party are due to be discussed this weekend.

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