Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards yesterday (31.01.2012) repeated calls for energy powers to be transferred to the Welsh Government, which is currently run by elected representatives of Labour in Wales. Jonathan Edwards hoped to introduce a bill in Westminster which would give the Welsh Government powers over energy generation in Wales – this was something that was supported by both Labour and the Conservatives in their Welsh general election manifesto's last year, where they argued that there should be an increase from the present 50 MW limit.
Mr Edwards argued that the proposal would lead to equality with Scotland and Northern Ireland and that it would mean that we would be better placed to fight fuel poverty with responsibility for our own resources. This sounds fair and is entirely reasonable, but Mr Edwards motion was voted down by Labour MPs, who were more than happy to team up with Conservatives MPs to stop their own party in Wales taking these powers. The proposal was defeated by 239 votes to 44 after Labour and Conservative MPs teamed up together against the Bill.
After the vote, Jonathan Edwards, Plaid MP for Carmarthen East, said:
"It is extraordinary to see Labour MPs from Wales teaming up to vote with the Conservatives against a motion that would empower the Welsh Government which they run. Do they just not trust Carwyn Jones with these powers?
“My Bill was simply titled ‘Energy Generation Wales’ and, although our policy is for full transfer of powers to Wales, it would have been open for other MPs to amend and put forward their own suggestions.
“This was an opportunity for Labour to introduce proposals from the manifesto on which their Welsh Government were elected last year but their MPs in London seem strangely keen that Wales should not have these powers.
“When you see the Conservatives and Labour walking through the lobbies together in London then you know that they are doing something which is good for Westminster, not for Wales.
“It is a strange world where Labour would so obviously rather have the Conservatives in charge of energy in Wales than take responsibility for it themselves.
"In 2012 alone, Labour MPs from Wales have voted in favour of NHS privatisation, a reduction in farming subsidies for Wales and now against Wales having the same energy powers as Scotland and Northern Ireland.
"If Carwyn Jones can't persuade Welsh MPs to support his policies, then it makes you wonder if he has any influence on his own party – never mind his complete failure to influence the Tories in charge at Westminster."