|Plaid's Adam Price and Labour's Mark Drakeford|
Plaid Cymru members have voted in favour of a 'co-operation agreement' with the governing Labour Party of Wales. 94 per cent of Plaid's members backed the deal, which stops short of a formal coalition. There will be no Plaid ministers in the Welsh government, but the wide-ranging agreement ensures that Wales will remain firmly in the grip of the hard left for the next three years.
Despite Labour being by far the largest party in the Senedd following May's election, they were still one seat short of an overall majority. This was not disastrous for them in the short term, as they could generally rely on their fellow leftists in Plaid Cymru to pass legislation. However, a divergence between the two parties would cause problems for Mark Drakeford and so - after six months of talks - a deal has been agreed.
There are 46 policies in the agreement, which can be read in full here. These policies include a tourist tax, the creation of a publicly owned energy provider and the expansion of the Senedd from its current 60 members to either 80 or 100. The latter is clearly aimed at securing Labour's long term position in government and finally achieving the outright majority that has eluded them since the inception of home rule in 1999. Most of the extra seats will come from South Wales, where Labour support is strongest.
Plaid have gone into coalition with Labour before in Wales - in 2007. Plaid's leader Adam Price hailed the agreement as a seed for 'a new society, a new Wales, a new beginning'. It's a remarkable turnaround for a guy who said prior to May's election that his party 'would not support a Labour government under any circumstances'. Click below for the clip and note the response of the presenter to Price's seemingly decisive stance...
It took a little longer than a couple of months for Price to be shown up as yet another disingenuous politician, but his u-turn couldn't be clearer.