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Friday, May 7, 1999 Published at 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK


Welsh Labour in 'crisis' - Hain

Peter Hain: Welsh Labour is in "crisis"

The Labour Party in Wales is in "crisis" and in clear need of regeneration, according to the party's own election campaign manager.

Peter Hain delivered his verdict after a series of crushing results for Labour in key seats, blaming the Welsh Labour leadership contest in February and rows candidates.

Labour had expected to gain overall control of the National Assembly for Wales, but that result now looks in doubt.

Trying to put on a brave face, the Neath MP said Labour had maintained its position in the mid-term of government since the 1997 election.

"It is very hard to hold your position," he said.

"There is, however, a stark warning in Wales in our heartlands. We have been too complacent for too long. We have to open up our style of politics.

"We need to regenerate the party, otherwise we will pay the price in the future."

Mr Hain revealed his thoughts on what new direction Labour must take in Wales to avert any future damage at the next general election.

Party membership was too old and the party had to regenerate itself, he said.

Coming as an outsider to Wales nine years ago, Mr Hain added he had seen the need for change within the party in the future.

Only Rhodri Morgan's Cardiff West seat showed any gains in the percentage Labour vote, with Islwyn showing a staggering 34.7% switch away from Labour.



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