[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Saturday, 29 September 2007, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Appeal to ambitious, Labour told
Leighton Andrews at the Labour conference (pic: Labour Party)
Leighton Andrews at last week's Labour's conference, watched by Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Another senior Welsh Labour figure has urged the party to look beyond its heartlands if it hopes to win a majority in the assembly again.

Deputy minister Leighton Andrews said Labour must appeal to "aspirational voters" and "speak for all of Wales".

In a speech in Llanelli he insisted: "There should be no no-go areas for Labour in Wales."

He joins a growing list of party figures calling for Labour to examine the causes of its election results.

Labour went into coalition with Plaid in the assembly after winning only 26 of the 60 seats.

On Friday, research by the party's national executive concluded, in effect, that party members needed to reach out further than Labour's core vote.

Welsh Labour needs to renew itself to ensure that it can speak for the whole of Wales
Leighton Andrews AM

Earlier in the week MEP Eluned Morgan called for Labour to ditch its "clear red water" stance which distances itself from the party's UK leadership.

Rhondda AM Mr Andrews picked up the theme again at a conference in Llanelli on "Winning in Carmarthenshire".

He spoke of his pride at representing a valleys seat. But, he added: "If we are to win again, we need to win outside our heartland areas... Welsh Labour needs to renew itself to ensure that it can speak for the whole of Wales.

He said: "It is clear that we did badly in Welsh-speaking areas of Wales. Our commitment to the Welsh language is based on our core values and our commitment to creating a more diverse and more equal Wales."

He also urged Labour to appeal more to "aspirational voters, including those whose lives have been made more comfortable by Labour economic success over the last ten years".

'Community socialism'

Mr Andrews also called for a commitment to "an open style of government at all levels, so that people see Labour as being on their side".

Mr Andrews, who was one of the leaders of the campaign urging Burberry to rethink its decision to close its factory in the Rhondda, also called for more campaigning by Labour.

Huw Lewis AM
Neither these new policy ideas nor a reinvigorated Welsh Labour Party will come around without meaningful and sometimes painful change
Huw Lewis AM

He added: "Welsh Labour's community campaigning should build on our history and tradition of community socialism, campaigning with and alongside people from the communities we represent."

He also called for unity among the various strands of Labour. There was strong opposition among Labour MPs to the deal with Plaid Cymru, but he emphasised that the assembly government "is a coalition, not a merger."

Mr Andrews told his audience: "We must ensure that the people of Wales see us as a united team - AMs, MPs, MEPs and councillors working together to deliver real change on the ground.

"Plaid's strategy will be to seek to divide Labour in Wales and Labour in London, and we must not allow that to happen."

"It is clear that we did badly in Welsh-speaking areas of Wales. Our commitment to the Welsh language is based on our core values and our commitment to creating a more diverse and more equal Wales."

Last month, Merthyr AM Huw Lewis, who lost his ministerial post in the Labour-Plaid power-sharing deal, said the party was "unfit for purpose" without a radical overhaul.

Mr Lewis welcomed Mr Andrews' comments, but said: "However, neither these new policy ideas nor a reinvigorated Welsh Labour Party will come around without meaningful and sometimes painful change.

"Leighton is right to say that we must reach out to all parts of Wales, but we must also create a better organised and more democratic Welsh Labour Party to do that."



SEE ALSO
Brown refuses to end poll fever
24 Sep 07 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific