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General election: Labour 'needs clear punchy messages'

April 19, 2017 5:59 AM
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General election: Labour 'needs clear punchy messages'

Jeremy Corbyn should have "nice clear punchy messages" in Labour's general election campaign, former first minister Rhodri Morgan has said.

Mr Morgan said the Labour leader should "hammer" messages on public services in England while Theresa May talks about Brexit.

But Glyn Davies, Tory MP for Montgomeryshire, said his party could win any argument over public services.

On Tuesday, Mrs May made a shock announcement to call for an early general election on 8 June.

Mr Corbyn welcomed the prospect, calling it a "chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first".

Asked what his election advice to Mr Corbyn would be, Mr Morgan said: "Nice clearly punch messages reflecting the parlous state of the health service, the crazy idea about the restoration of grammar schools [and] the problems over school places in England.

But in Wales, where many public services are devolved, Mr Morgan said there was "no reason for us not to have an election about Brexit".

He suggested Labour would want to focus on the "various government promises that have been made to replace European funding when it comes to regional development or agriculture, or all the other areas where the Brexiteers say 'don't worry about leaving the EU'."

Mr Davies said: "If you look at Wales where Labour is in charge, public services aren't in a very good shape.

"All the evidence shows that public services in England, where the Conservatives are in power, are better than those in Wales".

On Tuesday, Downing Street indicated to the Press Association the prime minister would reject any proposal for a TV showdown.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said Mrs May should be "empty chaired" if she refused to take part in TV debates.

"I am happy to debate with her anytime, anywhere, but it looks like she is running scared of scrutiny," Ms Wood said.

Lord Mike German, former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and now treasurer for the UK party, said his party was "the only ones who could stop the hard Brexit of the Tories".

He said voters understood this and within two hours of Mrs May making her announcement, the party signed up more than 2,000 new members across the UK.

Neil Hamilton, UKIP Wales leader, said he did not think the party would have "any difficulty" fighting 40 Welsh seats in the election campaign.

"UKIP's had its problems in terms of organisation in the last 12 months, that's certainly true," he said, adding: "It's a great opportunity for us to set out our stall."


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