Wales politics

Clegg: what's right for Scotland is right for Wales

If it's Sunday, this must be Glasgow. Good morning from the Liberal Democrats conference, where Nick Clegg has been rallying his troops.

This is what he told a rally here last night: "We now have a rare opportunity, a rare moment of consensus. There will be more powers, more control and more freedom for the people of Glasgow and the people of Scotland, just as there will be for the people of Wales, Northern Ireland and England. And I want to be very clear on the steps we will be insisting on to deliver this.

"First, new powers for Scotland will be delivered as promised - no ifs, no buts. And not conditional on any other reforms.

"We are the guarantors in Government that there will be no backsliding on this. And what is right for Scotland is every bit as right for Wales. Under our watch Welsh home rule must become a reality.

"I don't need to tell anybody in this hall how proud Kirsty {Williams} and her team are in their country."

He also explained the Liberal Democrat approach to the English question. The key word here - for both the Liberal Democrats and their opponents - is likely to be "proportional".

"We do need to settle the question of England and Welsh MPs voting on English and Welsh-only matters. But this must not be a politically motivated stitch up to give the Conservatives a permanent majority when they have a minority of the votes cast in England. Fairer votes for English matters, not Tory votes for English matters.

"David Laws has put forward our proposal for a grand committee with the power to vet English laws, made up of English MPs on a proportionate basis. Welsh MPs, selected on the same bases would take part when matters that affect both England and Wales are debated. Now lets see whether the Tories are serious about fair constitutional reform or whether what they were really hoping for all along is a grubby power grab in Westminster without a mandate from the voters to do so."

He also unveiled the Liberal Democrat approach to the Carwyn Jones hobbyhorse of a constitutional convention:. In a political game of Top Trumps, Mr Clegg has played his "citizen's jury" card.

"We need a new constitutional settlement for the United Kingdom and this must be led by people, not politicians. We want a constitutional convention with a citizen's jury at its heart, starting next year with a clear timetable."

There's no detail yet on how that "citizen's jury" would be selected but the convention would also look at ways of decentralising power with in England.

That's probably quite enough constitutional reform for a Sunday morning but I'll be back on Wales Today this evening with more.

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