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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 06:57 GMT
MPs 'ignoring' power change views
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ieuan Wyn Jones spoke of his frustration at a Plaid Cymru rally
Deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones has attacked MPs who he says are standing in the way of further powers for the Welsh assembly.

Mr Jones, who is leader of Plaid Cymru, said some Conservative and Labour MPs are not engaging in a debate on more law-making powers.

He said politicians were ignoring the will of the majority of Welsh people.

But Labour MP for Islwyn Don Touhig said he believed the issue was not important to his constituents.

At a party rally in Pontypridd on Monday night, Mr Jones, laid out out his frustration with what he sees as the blocking attitude of some MPs.

Better public services

Many - including the Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy - see the debate over more powers for the assembly as less important than delivering better public services.

But Plaid Cymru point to the central commitment in their coalition agreement with Labour that both sides should mount an active campaign to win a referendum on more powers for the assembly before 2011.

Speaking before the rally, Mr Jones said: "I'm not saying that that referendum should be happening today.

"There's a lot of work to be done. The actual convention needs to be up and running. But we have to lead the debate on this.

"And what we don't want is for people to be continually questioning the commitment to this proposal and therefore undermining it."

But Mr Touhig said politicians should be talking about health and education rather than more powers for Wales.

"I don't really have a response to this, except that it (constitutional reform) is not what people are talking about, they're not writing letters to me about it - it just not important to people," he added.



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