Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru close to finalising Senedd cooperation deal

Elliot Chappell

Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru are close to finalising a cooperation deal in the Senedd and an agreement could be announced as early as Monday.

According to the BBC, journalists were told this afternoon that the “very wide-ranging” draft agreement includes plans to reform council tax, make changes to social care, expand free childcare and tackle second home ownership.

Addressing a British Irish Council meeting in Cardiff, Mark Drakeford said a deal “had been reached” but still needed to be ratified by the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru and saying he would “be more public” on the deal if successful.

The parties released a joint statement earlier this year announcing that they were in talks over a potential cooperation agreement. It is unclear what the arrangement will be in the end, but LabourList understands it will not be a coalition.

BBC Wales has been told that Plaid Cymru Members of the Senedd will not be entering the administration under the draft agreement, but that the party would be able to appoint special advisers to work on the deal in government.

Labour holds 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd, which is the most it has ever achieved, and no party has ever had an outright majority. Drakeford has often said that he would work with others, explaining just after the election in May that he was “open to working with any party where there is common ground between us”.

Plaid Cymru and Labour have worked together previously in the Senedd. Plaid Cymru entered into a coalition government with Labour between 2007 and 2011 and agreed to a “compact” deal with the party after the 2016 Welsh elections.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We are having positive discussions with Plaid Cymru about developing an agreement on a range of policy areas where we have shared interests. We will not be commenting further while these discussions are ongoing.”

Drakeford will discuss the agreement with Welsh Labour’s Welsh executive committee, the party’s governing body, on Saturday. Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price will similarly discuss the deal with his party’s ruling body, the working committee.

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