Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 15:08 UK

Welsh parties' election TV debate

L-R: Cheryl Gillan, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Peter Hain and Kirsty Williams in the Sky News Welsh leaders' debate
L-R: Cheryl Gillan, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Peter Hain and Kirsty Williams

Senior politicians from the four main parties in Wales have clashed in the first Welsh televised debate of the general election campaign.

Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru discussed the economy, immigration, foreign affairs and trust in MPs in a Sky News debate.

It marked the first live debate for the Welsh parties on television ahead of the election on 6 May.

Forthcoming Welsh leaders' debates will also be shown on ITV and BBC.

During the hour-and-a-half Sky News debate, Welsh Secretary Peter Hain spoke for Labour, Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan for the Tories, while Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams answered the audience's questions for their parties.

BBC Wales' Janet Ebenezer said the debate "presented no knockout blows".

However, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid have seized on comments made by Mrs Gillan, which they say implied that she believed Rhodri Morgan was still first minister.

The parties said she appeared to refer to Mr Morgan as first minister in the assembly government in the present tense when discussing efficiency savings.

But the Tories dismissed the claims as "ridiculous".

A spokesman said that Mrs Gillan was making reference to efficiency reviews instigated by Mr Morgan during his time as first minister.

The next Welsh leaders' debate will be on ITV on Tuesday, with the BBC broadcasting the final one on Sunday, 2 May.



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