Wales politics

Jeremy Corbyn's first meeting with Carwyn Jones 'positive'


The first meeting between First Minister Carwyn Jones and new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was "positive", a spokesman for Mr Jones has said.

Elections, party reform and the UK constitution were discussed.

The spokesman added that the first minister "looked forward" to seeing Mr Corbyn in Wales "soon".

Before the meeting Mr Jones said MPs - including Mr Corbyn - were "welcome to help" in the 2016 assembly election.

Mr Jones said Labour's UK leader would "of course" be involved in the campaign.

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Media captionBefore the meeting Mr Jones said MPs - including Mr Corbyn - were "welcome to help" in the 2016 assembly election

Voters go to the polls in Wales, Scotland and London in May, in what will be the first electoral test for Labour since Mr Corbyn took over.

Mr Jones told BBC Wales: "In the elections of course I'll be, as leader of Welsh Labour, leading the campaign, with help of course from colleagues in London who are welcome to help.

"But it's a Welsh election, Welsh manifesto, Welsh Labour will produce, and that would be true whoever was the leader here in London and has been true in years gone by."

It is understood Mr Jones was keen to discuss the prospect of greater autonomy for Welsh Labour.

The first minister has described Mr Corbyn's win as "incredible", but previously called him an "unusual choice" for leader.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn visited the memorial to NHS founder Aneurin Bevan in Tredegar in August

Mr Corbyn praised Welsh Labour during the leadership campaign and in his victory speech for its record in office, in particular for ending the internal market in the NHS.

He was the only one of the four leadership contenders not to meet the first minister during the campaign, although it was said to be a matter of availability.

Political commentators have asked whether Mr Corbyn becoming UK Labour leader will help or hinder the party's chances of winning the assembly election.

Prof Richard Wyn Jones of Cardiff University has said Labour could find it harder to hold onto key marginals such as Gower and Vale of Clwyd, which the Tories captured at the general election.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has said the assembly election will now take on an "even greater significance", accusing Labour of "abandoning mainstream politics in favour of a hard left agenda".

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