Felicity Evans presents a special programme from the Welsh Assembly as the new AMs meet for their first full session in the Senedd.
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Unprecedented scenes at the Senedd. There is deadlock over who will be
the new First Minister. Nobody seems to want to back down. The only thing
that has been resolved is who will be the group leader of Ukip, it will
be Neil Hamilton. We will hear from them. Stay tuned to The Wales
Report. Good evening. Welcome to The Wales
Report. What a date has been here at the Senedd. After last week's
assembly elections, labour was the largest single party, everyone
assumed that Carwyn Jones was a shoo-in for the post of First
Minister. They were wrong. We would like to join in on this
conversation. Here is the hashtag. Today has been full of surprises. We
got all the drama would centre around the election of the Presiding
Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer. Elin Jones and Ann Jones
Gorelick -- elected with relative little fuss. There were reports that
a Leanne Wood would challenge Labour's Carwyn Jones for the
position of First Minister, that was what happened in the end. The Tories
and Ukip supported her, leaving the two candidates deadlocked at 29
votes each. And what was by anyone's reckoning a challenge for the new
Presiding Officer, Elin Jones was left but with no choice to adjourn
proceedings. Well, Johnny May now, Labour's Aled Davies, Darren Millar
from the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas. Simon Thomas,
Labour was the largest party in last week's election. Why did Plaid Cymru
nominate a Leanne Wood? The largest party but not commanding
the majority. We believe that Leanne Wood was the best candidate for
First Minister. It is important both for the assembly as a parliament and
for politics in Wales that there is a genuine challenge to Labour's
assumption of going into a minority government. Carwyn Jones says he
wants to form a minority administration, they could do that
also. It is a legitimate thing. We can challenge him. We have the
support of other parties in the assembly. In that sense, we have
wider cross party support. But the support of the parties you
got ready to Tories and Ukip. The parties which Leanne Wood that
falters only I during the election campaign about and told them that in
no circumstances would she do deals with them.
There is no deal, this is about the election of the First Minister and
it is heavily entitled for those parties and they can justify it for
themselves as to why they wanted a challenge in the assembly and to
ensure that there was a proper election and challenge in the
assembly. This is pure theatre, they were not
expecting downward to get elected and then have to abide to be in the
hands of two parties she promised not to work with? This is poor
theatre, is it? Now it is not. This is about the
assembly making its choice for the election of First Minister. The
people of Wales want a good First Minister.
Was Leanne Wood breaking Hogwarts to the voters to be First Minister?
It is a real attempt to be First Minister.
She wants to be any hands of Ukip and the Tories?
The first thing is to get the confidence of the old assembly. It
is important that today we noticed that Leanne Wood did not get a
majority vote, we except that. But the Labour Party must accept they
did not get the majority vote for the assembly. All parties must go
away and think about how they can elect a government that can, and the
wider support within the assembly. Aled Davies, Labour did not work
hard enough to get through this vote, did they?
Many people will be incredulous at what we have just heard. Plaid Cymru
voters were told that they would never come to any sort of deal with
the Conservative Party Aubert Ukip. That is what they were told.
But what about how the Labour Party have approached this?
On the very first opportunity in this new December, Plaid Cymru have
looked the voters in the eye and broken their word. That is something
that is a fundamental breach of trust in our democracy.
Why did you not work harder to support the first Mr's election
today? I think Carwyn Jones has a clear
mandate to be First Minister. He does not have a clear mandate
committee is the largest party but he does not have a clear mandate.
No party has more than half of the seats that Welsh Labour have. We
have a clear mandate to govern, but how we govern it a different matter
and I except that you have to govern differently as a minority than you
would do with a majority. We accept and understand that. However, we
have a clear mandate to be in government and to lead government.
If the other parties you want to ignore what the people of Wales said
last week, put aside the promises they made...
In the first test of that, you have failed to do it by even securing
support for the First Minister and get him through.
We spoke to Plaid Cymru, they were not interested. Kirsty Williams
voted according to her principles. She said before the election last
week, we will not vote with Ukip and the Conservatives. She kept to her
principles. Plaid Cymru went against their principles. The electorate can
look at that. The Welsh Labour Party is committed to working and to win
the referendum on Europe in a few weeks' time to ensure...
That is a completely different story. You do not have a government
jet, maybe you should focus on that first.
To focus on the future of the steel industry, a jobs plan, to ensure
that we have employment in Wales, to focus on our communities.
You will not do any of that if you are not in government. Darren
Millar, why did you throw your bottom with Plaid Cymru? You are not
natural bedfellows, are you? The Labour Party does not have any
divine right to rule in Wales. It walks around with its chest out,
particularly the First Minister, trying to suggest that it has a
mandate to be able to govern Wales for the next five years and clearly
it does not. Today we have shown that it cannot take the Senate for
granted. This is about bringing them down a
peg or two? Not really. We have always said that
we believe Wales would be better off with an alternative to a labour
government. We are prepared to work with whoever else we need to work
with to make that happen. What do you want in Plaid Cymru to
end this deadlock? What can Labour offer you?
Firstly, they have not offered us anything. Neither have the other
parties. We told the Labour Party yesterday that we would nominate
Leanne Wood for First Minister. It was Carwyn Jones decision to go
ahead today. He did not get the support... We will not be having
negotiations in public. But we will be open to speak with other parties
in that sense and he will understand what other parties think...
Agreement on what? Help? We can not do it publicly, because
when we do have those discussions, you will understand what is
happening. Darren Millar's point is very important. Labour did not get
that vote. Any government which is elected by this assembly, it will
have to be a minority government reliant upon reaching out to other
parties. We except that at Plaid Cymru. The Labour Party has not
accepted that. I said that in answer to your first
question. What they bought today does it gives
some breathing space for people to deflect on where things are at. It
lets them think about a strategy for getting a government together. All
parties must consider their approach to these things. At the end of the
day, the Labour Party got it hopelessly wrong assuming that
Carwyn Jones would be able to walk into the job of First Minister and
from the government. It is incumbent upon all parties to reflect at where
they are and as I have said, we will look at how some sort of arrangement
can be ironed out so that we can have an alternative to what has been
a pure River Clyst -- administration for the last five years.
Alun Davies, it is a different environment for the Labour Party
this time around, that much is clear today. What are you prepared to
offer to get one of these other parties on side so that you can
actually form a government? I am not in a position to make those
offers on this programme this evening. I would expect all
politicians of all political parties to deliver on the promises they made
to the electorate last week. One week ago people voted to elect a new
government in Wales. In my constituency and in many others,
Plaid Cymru made it clear they would not under any circumstances do a
deal with the Conservatives. On the first opportunity they have, they
have broken that promise. You are fighting an old war. What do
you want to do? What I want to do is to do what we
were elected to do. To protect the steel industry. We will protect the
jobs of people. Not if you are not in government.
That is what people elected Labour government to do.
But they have not elected a Labour government.
We have a clear mandate to govern. If people want to reject that, that
is their right. I would be delighted to face the electorate again on this
matter and ask if they would vote for me who kept my word. Or vote for
Plaid Cymru who broke their work at the first opportunity they had.
There has not been a deal between Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives.
But there would have to be if you would indefinitely support Leanne
Wood as First Minister. We have had a vote, there has been a
logjam, both sides are at loggerheads and that gives some
breathing space for everyone to reflect upon the positions and icy
weather there is an opportunity of a different sort of government in
Wales, what I believe is needed. What is your response to the point
made by Aled Davies that there are serious issues facing Wales and that
which ever way it works, it is the will of the electorate that some
sort of government is formed and that these sort of delays, whilst
they might be entertaining for people with political interest like
myself who came there to watch today, it is all theatre and that
what we need is a government who can get on with substance. You have to
read that, what you say to -- Alun Davies.
It is not all theatre. We have UK Government trying to sort out the
steel prices and working hard. Oliver parties are working with the
UK Government to get the best outcome for the people who are
having their jobs under threat to the various Tata Steel sites. We
continue to do that regardless of how politics to form a government.
Briefly, Simon Thomas, 28 days to elect a First Minister, will it take
that long can be resolved it next week?
I am sure we can resolve it quickly. week?
There is still a First Minister but it needs other parties to speak to
each it needs other parties to speak to
grace to have those it needs other parties to speak to
the proper recognition that this is a new parliament with the proper
challenge to the Labour Party. This is pure theatre and those
people did not vote for those things.
Thank you all for joining me. The one opposition am who did
support Carwyn Jones for the post of First Minister was Kirsty Williams.
She is the sole Lib Dem in the chamber and she joins me now.
Welcome to the programme and thank you for joining us. What is your
view as to what happened in their today?
I think it is not the finest today?
for the assembly. This is a very serious issue in forming a
government to take Wales forward. We have the steel industry that is
under threat at the moment, we have immense pressure in our National
Health Service. There are many Health Service. There are many
things that the people of Wales meet the government to do to get
things that the people of Wales meet carry out. I was not sent here to
support a rag coalition, including Ukip. That is not my politics. I do
not want that Ukip. That is not my politics. I do
what happens here in Wales and therefore, I voted for what I
what happens here in Wales and proposition of a government. I do
not Plaid said they did not do a deal,
they simply put Leanne Wood up as a candidate. Do you see a way of
resolving this? I have the utmost respect for Leanne Wood and she
personally had an amazing result in winning the Rhondda seat, but the
reality is with the number of seats that Plaid has got, they cannot be a
government that Plaid has got, they cannot be a
believe that Leanne Wood thinks that either. They can only be a
government if that includes working with the Conservatives and Ukip.
Throughout this campaign Leanne said she was not prepared to do that, so
I am not sure what today has been about. What I do
I am not sure what today has been party is the Labour Party. I wish
I am not sure what today has been was different, but it is not and we
had to create a government to take Wales forward over the next 5 years.
Did you do a deal with Labour to give them your vote?
Did you do a deal with Labour to done a deal with the Labour Party.
My decision today was based on the reality of the election result and
My decision today was based on the will not do a
My decision today was based on the said, a ragbag coalition that
My decision today was based on the influence to Ukip. It is not
politics and I will not do it. I understand that, but just to
clarify, we should not be expecting to see you in the Cabinet, assuming
we get a cabinet. I met with Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood and Andrew
Davies. But no, the basis of my vote was not based on that. The drama was
around Ukip and its new leader. Neil was not based on that. The drama was
Hamilton was elected. It was a big disappointment for Nathan Gill, who
only last week led disappointment for Nathan Gill, who
greatest ever electoral success. Jonny May now is the new Ukip
greatest ever electoral success. Neil Hamilton. Thank you for joining
us. Would now be an appropriate time for you to pay tribute to Nathan
Gill to leading for you to pay tribute to Nathan
electoral success? Nathan Gill remains the leader of Ukip in Wales.
Nothing has changed there. We have just formed a group under the
Assembly rules and elected a leader. It is horses for courses. I am not
Assembly rules and elected a leader. challenging Nathan Ford
Assembly rules and elected a leader. people put a lot of
Assembly rules and elected a leader. the campaign and we scored a
stunning success. That is its own reward. He might feel a little
rueful of the reward he has had. Some people think it is a bizarre
way to reward the successor. David Rowlands compared it to be sacking
at Leicester of Ron Young. These analogies are not helpful. I ran an
election campaign for Ukip myself, I ran the European campaign, and what
is relevant for the campaign trail is not necessarily relevant indeed
dogfight of an Assembly chamber, such as we have here. I have been a
long-time member of Parliament, a cabinet minister, a member of the EU
Council. I have a depth and range of experience no 1 else has. I don't
know why in individual cases people voted for me. Things must be
uppermost in their -- uppermost in their mind. You came out of a group
meeting today. How would you describe it? We were consensual and
United. There will be no problem going forward. No factions? Nathan
Gill is happy with you? You will have two asking that. I would be
surprised if he is completely happy with me, but of course he is
disappointed. I understand that. I have experienced the hurly-burly of
political life in a way that few others have in the cause of my
lifetime. You have to get on with it and make the best of it. Lick your
wounds and fight another day. The Ukip UK leader Nigel Farage has
described what happened to Nathan Gill as unjust and criticise those
who voted for you and you for putting your name forward,
demonstrating ingratitude. Nigel has said many disobliging things about
me. Do you have respect for Nigel Farage as the leader of Ukip? Let us
give him his due. We would not be having a referendum on the EU if it
was not for him and the driving force that he provided to make out
of nothing a fully fledged political party which in Wales holds the
balance of power in this building. Ukip is Ed Balls to be reckoned with
in the country as a whole. Yes, I take my hat off to Nigel Farage in
that respect. I have had many disagreements and run-ins with him,
but so did I with John Major when I was a minister in his government,
and I was a member of the Thatcher government and people have issues
with her. But we were part of a winning machine under the Tories. So
no and other split? That is the force antithesis. So you are both on
the same page? You described shaking each other warmly. I do have a sense
of humour that not everyone appreciates. It was in response to a
provocative question from a journalist. Mr Farage tried to stop
your nomination. Yes, he did. And Nathan Gill has been usurped by you?
He has not. It would be a natural conclusion that the man who led his
party to victory would be the leader. He has been the 1 in the
debate, not you Mr Hamilton. Bless it are those who expect nothing, as
the saying goes. Will you be an asset to the party? We will see in
due course. I think I will be. I have been a government whip, I know
the way in which deals are done in a parliament where there is no overall
control. There will be a lot of negotiation. But you are tainted by
cash for questions. This is 20, 30 years old. It is ancient history.
Serious allegations which you put before a libel jury and they found
against you. We have just fought an election. I was voted as the leader
candidate. I was then elected by the electorate in mid- wells to be the
Assembly member. I have now been elected by the majority of
colleagues in this place to be their leader. You said your previous
Parliamentary experience... Can I just finish this point. I went
through a 2-year top Inland Revenue investigation of my financial
affairs over 10 separate tax years as a result of the patch your
questions. The Inland Revenue's top forensic accountants were involved.
I emerged from that with the Inland Revenue concluding there had not
been illicit payments to me in any shape or form. Those allegations are
baseless. They are now ancient history. They were discussed in
court and the jury found against you. You ended up bankrupt. You
refer to your previous experience is putting you in good stead for this
role and your previous experience led to your disgrace. Well, I have
been retraced by this election. You have been all fighting like cats in
the sack through this campaign. You said we would make life interesting.
You certainly did, and that is the basis of this question. Will it
continue to be interesting, or will you bring coherence? It's not about
that, there is a natural cohesion. We are a form bands, which is the
nature of the institution and we will get on together very well. We
will have disagreements from time to time and when you are fighting
against others for a position, that tends to leave a few scratches and
scars. But I have been through this many times in the last 30 years in
Parliament and in politics generally and I can assure you there is much,
much more that unites us than divides us. After June 23, what is
Ukip for? If we as a nation vote to leave the unit, there will 1st of
all B overriding need to keep the government honest on delivering what
the people want. But you would have achieved jaw goal. The British
people would have agreed with you. Your fox would be shot. No, the fact
we vote to leave does not mean the government will deliver on the deal.
There has been many referenda held in Europe where people thought that
the Brussels bureaucrats came to the wrong answer and those people were
obliged to vote again and produce the right answer. There will be a
cosmetic deal that the political elite will pull together to convince
people that all the things that were wrong have been made right and it
will be a lie. If there is a Remain votes, your primary reason for
existence for have been rejected. No. We won't ignore the referendum
result, but we said we will carry on the fight, in the same way that the
Scottish National Party are doing in Scotland. Will all continue to be
about Europe? You have no intention of bringing a policy platform in
Wales and establish Ukip as an integral part of the evolution? It
will all be about Europe? You may not have had the chance to read the
manifesto we stood on June the election. I will give 1 to you after
this interview. You did not mention apprenticeships... The whole 20
default areas of policy, we put forward a full range of policies
which were different from the other parties and... So what is the 1
thing you would like to achieve from your manifesto in the cause of this
new Assembly. How should we judge you in terms of your performance
here as you can leader in the next 5 years? What will be the thing? There
is not 1 individual thing, there are lots of things. I would like to
introduce democracy in a way that the whole service is run. It is
failing in many ways and it is wrong. The way we treat cancer
patients is appalling in comparison to England. We would like to
introduce democracy by having elected representatives on health
boards. We would like to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge. Can you
commit to 1 of those and said this will be the thing. This is the Tete
mik issue other than Europe, as Ukip in the Welsh Assembly. I don't know
what we can achieve in 5 years because we are only 7 out of 60
members. We will do their best we can. Not the balance of power then?
Certainly be well. You can't have it both ways. Maybe you will be
influential and tell us what you will achieve, or you won't. No.
Because we do have the scope to hold the balance of power, we will be
able to trade our votes for some of the things which are in our
manifesto. I can't tell you what they are because I don't know what
will be possible in individual circumstances. I have lived through
a period when a government did not have a majority and individual
members of Parliament help the government to ransom. -- held the
government to ransom. I can assure you I will drive a hard bargain in
the interest of the people of Wales. Mr Hamilton, thank you very much.
Well, what a couple of days it has been. I am now joined by elliptical
commentators. -- political commentators. Laura, what you think
of this? In some respects, it paves the way for what will be an
incredibly different Assembly. Whatever the outcome is over the
issue of the First Minister, we knew that this will
Do you get a sense that perhaps the labour group has not be adjusted to
that new environment? I am not sure about that. I got a
sense today that before we got to the vote as to who should be First
Minister, the fact that the Labour Party give three votes to that
extent on the Presiding Officer candidate was radically different to
what I have seen happening in the past. I whipped -- I would have gone
with 2003. I thought that the Labour Party would have looked at it in a
more open-minded way. I understand that they tried to talk to a certain
extent to the Lib Dems and to Plaid Cymru and trying to make some sort
of arrangement to indicate there was a difference of tone. Unfortunately,
that cheap date is still casting a shadow.
Really? Do you think that the opposition parties would
Really? Do you think that the that today was the day that they
would give the bigger party a bloody nose?
would give the bigger party a bloody I think that Darren is
would give the bigger party a bloody that it says more about Plaid
would give the bigger party a bloody than it says about the Labour Party.
This is a different Plaid Cymru than it says about the Labour Party.
group, one that this appears party, in this case Labour. I think
also, there party, in this case Labour. I think
Aside from the Rhondda, it was poor for Plaid Cymru. So they need to do
something to project Leanne Wood and the party back onto the agenda. This
is a really bold the party back onto the agenda. This
well misfire, but they had to do something.
well misfire, but they had to do That is now the question. If they
have engineered this, how do they then climbed down from it, as that
they want to, of course, but it has to be resolved somehow?
There must be a resolution and if not, the assembly will be dissolved
on the 5th of June. There must be some resolution between now and
then. I think that maybe if we had had another session immediately
afterwards, Plaid Cymru could've said, we have made our point, you
can't govern as she used to, we will said, we have made our point, you
step away from it. The problem now is that there looks to be another
week for B have a cleaner recession. That will
week for B have a cleaner recession. negotiations. The Labour Party is
playing that negotiations. The Labour Party is
aspect that will have the biggest aspect on
aspect that will have the biggest Europe. Because actually, that date
is getting Europe. Because actually, that date
losing another week of campaigning and are
losing another week of campaigning had a massive falling
could perpetuate for PBX or four weeks, really
could perpetuate for PBX or four for another
could perpetuate for PBX or four there will say there is requirements
and standing orders for this but I am not sure why. If Plaid Cymru's
tactics were to really flex am not sure why. If Plaid Cymru's
muscles, as it did very effectively, then it would have anticipated the
meeting would be adjourned then it would have anticipated the
short meeting of time then it would have anticipated the
reconvened. No one is clear why we are waiting such a long time, it is
to know when's benefit. No one can work out why it took half
an hour to count 60 votes, it seems to take a long time, everything, and
this please! What are your thoughts as the others
will likely be resolved and the timetable for doing so? I do not
think I have the stamina for another election?
I do not think we are taught me about another election. You are
correct, that we do not have a First Minister within 28 days of the
election, there will be another election, but nobody has an appetite
for that, including all of the political parties, never mind the
public. I think it will be resolved but the proof of the pudding, Billy,
and how it is resolved and how Plaid Cymru come out of this any stronger
position than they went into it today, and how we will respond in
terms of its culture of operations subsequently.
The problem is that the Conservatives and Ukip seemingly are
just going to back Leanne Wood for the hell of it. It might act to be
Plaid Cymru that has to shift, it is probably easier for them in some
ways but it is not an easy step. Plaid Cymru have got a fair bit out
of today but it is an extremely high risk strategy and one we will be
giving a vote on the Labour Party leaflet and lecture placards for a
long time to come. Darren Anderton Laura, thank you
very much indeed. This story will go on and on and there is the small
matter of an EU referendum campaign to talk about. We will address those
in next week's programme. -- Darren. If you would like to give us your
opinions, please do, the hashtag is on screen now. Good night.