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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 11:59 GMT
Wales@Westminster newslog

The Wales@Westminster weblog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life

Thursday, 01 March

Peace and goodwill - for some

posted by David | 1155 BST |

Happy St David's Day from Westminster, from where I bring you news of a sudden outbreak of peace and goodwill.

There are clear signs of a thaw in one of the deeper feuds in Welsh politics. Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd was among the guests at Peter Hain's St David's Day party.

Plaid Cymru's Elfyn Llwyd
Plaid's Elfyn Llwyd at a bash thrown by old adversary Peter Hain

Older readers may recall how Mr Hain and Mr Llwyd fell out bitterly last year. I'll gloss over the details of the spat, in the spirit of the day, but as my photograph shows the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy MP was invited to Mr Hain's bash last night.

Plaid Cymru in turn have invited the Welsh secretary to their St David's Day party tonight. Heavens, they'll be doing coalition deals next.

Guests at the Wales Office do tucked in to some splendid Welsh delicacies including Glamorgan sausages, Welsh lamb and Welshcakes almost as good as my mother makes. Peter Hain had clearly been busy slaving over a hot Aga all day.

In his role as Northern Ireland secretary, Mr Hain is trying to bring together Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams.

Last night he put his peace-making skills to the ultimate test - inviting both Lembit Opik and his former fiancée Sian Lloyd to the party.

Mr Opik seemed less than his usual jolly self. 'My private life is my private life,' snapped the star of at least three Hello! magazine photo-shoots

One guest says they arrived at the same time, although they managed to spend the evening as far apart in the Wales Office as it is possible to be without leaving the building.

Mr Opik seemed less than his usual jolly self. "My private life is my private life," snapped the star of at least three Hello! magazine photo-shoots.

But even Mr Hain's peace-making skills may prove insufficient to resolve the tensions between Conservatives in Wales and Westminster.

Today's Western Mail reports, accurately, how some Tory MPs are less than impressed with some of the ideas floated for the party's manifesto for the Welsh assembly elections.

There's talk that the draft manifesto may suggest transferring control of the police from Westminster to Cardiff Bay - a policy no Welsh Tory administration could deliver without parliament's approval.

The views of the shadow home secretary, David Davis, on this proposal would be interesting to know on this issue.

Peter Hain did issue one rallying cry to unite all parties. "Good luck to Wales when they play England at the Millennium Stadium."

A noble sentiment, although not perhaps a vote-winning one in Labour's deputy leadership election.




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