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Welsh Labour leadership contest Monday, 15 February, 1999, 17:21 GMT
No holds bard for assembly
The Welsh Week at Westminster By David Cornock, BBC Wales parliamentary correspondent

Who will be the first National Poet for Wales? Yr Academi Gymreig, the Welsh Academy, wants two bards to be attached to the National Assembly.

Welsh labour leadership contest
The poets would write verse about our cultural and political life as Welsh equivalents of the poet laureate.

The Academy would like the duo, one to write in Welsh and the other English, to be appointed by the assembly first secretary.

My choice would be Alan Howarth - the Newport East MP is arts minister for England and an amateur poet on the quiet.


Tory leader William Hague has revealed his most nerve-wracking experience within the Palace of Westminster - his wedding.

Mr Hague married his former civil servant Ffion Jenkins 14 months ago in the House of Commons crypt.

The hardest bit, he said, was taking the vows in Welsh - an event much more difficult than Prime Minister's Questions.

The Hagues were chosen to launch National Marriage Week, following in the footsteps of Tony and Cherie Blair, who launched the event last year.


You wait a year for three prime ministerial visits - and then three come along at once.

It was such a shame that a clash of diaries prevented Tony Blair from meeting his second favourite leadership candidate, Rhodri Morgan during the premier's visit to South Wales last Tuesday.

Their paths nearly crossed at Cardiff Central Station, where Mr Morgan waited to get off one train as Mr Blair prepared to catch another.

The PM denied that he was in Wales to support Alun Michael. Certainly, the trip may not have had the desired effect, reinforcing instead the Welsh secretary's image as the Establishment candidate.


Many MPs were surprised that the prime minister took such a keen interest in the fate of England football coach Glenn Hoddle.

It has, however, set MPs thinking - if Westminster can dictate such things, what can the Welsh Assembly do?

Expect Assembly members to demand the right to over-rule Graham Henry and pick our rugby XV within months.

See also:

28 Nov 98 | UK Politics
02 Dec 98 | UK Politics
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