Ed Miliband's Welsh funding 'commitment'

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Media captionBarnett and the Welsh NHS - Labour leader's views

I've just met a man called Ed. We talked funding, Barnett formula and the NHS. Together.

I've spent most of this week trying to find out how Labour would somehow give the Welsh government more money while making no unfunded spending commitments. First Minister Carwyn Jones said he'd received assurances from Ed Miliband that he would "address" the £300m (on Mr Jones's figures) gap.

Here's what the Labour leader told me: "I think the Barnett formula has served us well. I understand the particular issues Wales has and we'll definitely look at those issues. We said it in our 2010 manifesto. It's a clear commitment I've made. So the Barnett formula stays but we absolutely will look at the specific issues that Wales faces.

"It's an undertaking that's part of our spending review. We'll look at the difficulties that Wales faces and look at the particular needs that it has because we understand the concerns in Wales about the Barnett formula and the issues it faces."

So where would the money come from? "I think that's to be looked at in the spending review It's one of the many issues that's got to be looked at in this. But what I think I'm determined to do is to get fairness for Wales and people right across the United Kingdom."

My guess is not every voter will find that as re-assuring as Carwyn Jones does. He may enjoy the answer to this question more: do you think the Welsh government get more powers?

"Yes, I do. I think devolution has worked in Wales. If you think about the first referendum in Wales it was very narrowly won. We've seen a subsequent referendum that was won by a bigger margin. I think Carwyn Jones is doing a fantastic job for the people of Wales and I think there are more powers, for example the reserved model. The model that is used in Scotland and making sure that we actually have a fairer system for Wales.

"I think we should definitely look at the issue of policing. It's definitely right to look at the issue of policing and there are other issues around borrowing powers. So, look, I'm open to this and the most important thing is we're going to have a constitutional convention to look at all of these issues, across the United Kingdom. And in a way Carwyn Jones led the way on that proposal for a constitutional convention and he was right. "

Why is he putting the NHS at the centre of the UK general election campaign when there have been so many problems in Wales on Labour's watch?

"I think the authoritative study on this was the Nuffield Trust study and the Nuffield Trust study said that there was no one health system that did particularly better than any other across the United Kingdom. I think what is the case is there are big challenges in Wales and we're determined we confront those challenges and Carwyn Jones is determined we confront those challenges.

"I've got to say though the last time the Tories were in power in Wales waiting lists were two years long so let's actually deal with those issues and let's not use the Welsh health service as somehow whipping boy which is what David Cameron tries to do. He's after all responsible for the English health services. I wouldn't recommend the changes David Cameron's made in England for the people of Wales."

It has been an unusual pre-election conference. It felt a bit flat for a party supposedly on the brink of power, its beginning over shadowed by Scotland, its end eclipsed by air strikes on Islamic State targets. We live in unusual times. See you in Birmingham.