Tories to back Welsh law-making powers referendum

By Hollie Slade

David Cameron is expected to announce this afternoon that he backs plans for a referendum on giving the Welsh Assembly jurisdiction on law-making powers.

Welsh Labour are split on the issue and expected to assemble for a crisis meeting to decide policy today.

Cameron’s move goes against Welsh secretary Peter Hain’s assertions that the new powers are unnecessary.

Writing in the Western Mail last Thursday he claimed: “Many people have heard the increasing clamour for a referendum next year on full law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales, seemingly regardless of whether or not it is winnable.

“Only a few people, however, seem to have heard that devolution in Wales is already delivering those comprehensive law-making powers from Westminster at an ever-increasing pace.”

The All Wales convention is also expected to set out recommendations for a referendum in an influential report to be published next month, leaving Hain isolated on the issue.

The Welsh Assembly has committed itself to referendum on the issue no later than May 2011.