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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Morgan 'might' accept D-Day blame
Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan has been both MP and AM for Cardiff West
First Minister Rhodri Morgan says he will accept some blame if his failure to attend D-Day commemorations cost Labour votes in the council elections.

But he said he would only take that responsibility if Labour did worse in Wales than in England.

Mr Morgan also attributed some defeats to "yuppiefication" of working class areas and resentment at big investment in cities.

Former Cardiff council leader Russell Goodway said D-Day was a factor.

I'm ready to put my hand up and take my share of the blame if the results indicate we have done particularly badly in Wales
Rhodri Morgan
Labour lost control in Cardiff, Swansea and Bridgend, but won valleys heartland councils Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) and Caerphilly.

The first minister said it had been a "pretty dire night" before Labour's good results came in later from the valleys.

Mr Morgan said while RCT and Caerphilly had "both come back to Labour, their natural home," Labour was still trying to come to terms with the defeats in the cities.

'Investment booms'

"My only theory is this: that both Cardiff and Swansea have got these huge investment booms going on, but people will look at that and say... but what does it do for me?

"People want local service delivery, rather than a shimmering image of these great new investment projects... now really you've got to have both, but people don't see them when they are voting in local elections.

"They almost resent, maybe, the investment boom going on in the city centres".

On the D-Day accusations by Mr Goodway, Mr Morgan said: "Obviously I'm ready to take my share: any politician has got to be ready to take a share of the blame.

"If we have done worse in Wales than in England I will look to myself and see whether that's down to me.

"As far as I can tell, it's early days but yet I think actually we are doing better than in England. So I don't know what you make of that, but I don't draw the same conclusions as Russell."

On claims by Labour supporters that they didn't vote Labour because of D-Day, Mr Morgan acknowledged that it did come up on the doorstep.

"I would be inclined to discount it, but I'm ready to put my hand up and take my share of the blame if the results indicate we have done particularly badly in Wales," he said.

But he said Labour did worst in Cardiff, for instance, in areas where there had been a "huge population shift in the last five years".

"It's the yuppiefication of southern and inner city Cardiff... so the population isn't actually the same as it was five years ago in areas like Grangetown and Riverside."

He said much of the "traditional original population" had been displaced and brought in "new people who weren't living there five years ago, so the social character of these areas is very different".

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