Plaid Cymru leader calls for Westminster scrutiny

Speaking at the SNP conference, Leanne Wood called for a reformed UK ministerial council to allow the UK's constituent nations to look at Westminster's decisions. Picture: Greg Macvean
Speaking at the SNP conference, Leanne Wood called for a reformed UK ministerial council to allow the UK's constituent nations to look at Westminster's decisions. Picture: Greg Macvean
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WESTMINSTER should obtain agreement from Scottish and Welsh governments before ­taking major UK decisions, the Plaid Cymru leader said yesterday.

Speaking in a “fraternal” address at the SNP conference, Leanne Wood called for a reformed UK ministerial council to allow the UK’s constituent nations to look at the UK government decisions.

Wood congratulated delegates for starting a “democratic” revolution during the referendum.

She also called for Plaid and SNP leaders to be included in general election television debates, arguing that their voices would become crucial in a hung parliament.

“It is unacceptable for broadcasters to deny people the opportunity to hear from and scrutinise all the major party leaders of all of the nations that make up this British state,” Wood said.

“There should not be an England-only debate. Viewers in England have a right to know what our priorities would be when the SNP and Plaid Cymru hold balance of power at Westminster.”

She also claimed that there remained a democratic deficit across the UK that should be addressed.

Arguing for more powers to be devolved to Cardiff and Edinburgh, Wood said that those which remained in London should be the subject of discussion between governments across the UK.

“Crucially on matters that are not transferred, there must be a forum where the different governments of the UK come together as equals to make decisions jointly,” she said.

“We have a democratic deficit in the UK, which directly impacts on the people of Wales and the people of Scotland. Neither voted for the current government.

“Neither Wales nor Scotland voted for the brutality of austerity.

“It is right, fair and democratic that any decisions made about purchase and location of weapons of mass destruction require universal support from the governments of the UK.

“I want a reformed UK ministerial council consisting of governments of the UK to include a provision whereby the wishes of our people are not just heard but adhered to.”

She added: “A Plaid Cymru government in Wales from 2016 will insist on major decisions at UK level needing a consensus between governments or at the very least an option to opt out.”