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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 15:48 GMT
Wales@Westminster newslog

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

Monday, 12 March

Finger on the button

posted by David | 1545 GMT |

It was Rhodri Morgan, first minister of Wales, who said last month: "What we want is for the Welsh elections to be fought on Welsh issues, and not become a referendum on 'noises off'."

Mr Morgan will have been thrilled therefore to hear his education minister, and onetime researcher, Jane Davidson, use the weekend airwaves to voice her opposition to the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent 72 hours before an important House of Commons vote on the subject.

As yet, the Welsh assembly does not have control over its own nuclear deterrent, independent or otherwise, but Ms Davidson defended her right to speak out.

"I have discussed it with Rhodri. He was perfectly happy for me to make this statement today. One of the important things about Rhodri's leadership in Wales is he does encourage people to have independent thoughts."

Some cynics have suggested this intervention is about another election - the one that will take place in two years to replace Rhodri Morgan when he retires as first minister and Welsh Labour leader.

Ms Davidson insists her comments have "absolutely nothing to do with it" [the leadership].

Perhaps it was all a cunning plan to divert media attention from the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference, a gathering I decided to forsake lest I be run over by the "Eleanor Burnham for leader" campaign bandwagon.

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