Welsh Executive Committee Report 5th November 2016

This was the first meeting since the end of the leadership election and the party conference in Liverpool. With Welsh conference and the local elections on the horizon, there was a very full agenda, as a result of which the last couple of items were dealt with somewhat hurriedly. Chris Newman was away at a Socialist Educational Association meeting, so I am reporting this one ‘solo’.

We began with a minute’s silence for Terry Thomas, a former NUM and GMB official who had chaired the WEC at one time and had passed away since the last meeting. Sophie and I were congratulated on her wedding and Jo Stevens was welcomed to her first meeting as Shadow Welsh Secretary – the third person to hold that position since I joined the WEC in February.

Carwyn then gave his Leader’s Report. The main issue affecting Wales continued to be the prospect of Brexit. He noted the court judgement earlier in the week, which had determined that the royal prerogative could not be used to overturn an act of Parliament. The Tories didn’t seem to think that they could succeed in challenging the ruling, hence the talk of an early general election. If they did win, there would be wider ramifications for Wales, inasmuch as the royal prerogative could also be used to interfere with the devolution process. Carwyn had attended a Joint Ministerial Council meeting with Theresa May, where he had asked her to rule out any deal involving tariffs. The Tories did not seem to have a clue as to their position. Should there be an early general election, the Wales Bill currently going through Parliament would be lost; despite the bill’s serious flaws, this would be a setback for Wales. Carwyn also reported on the legislation being taken forward by the Welsh Government in the National Assembly, including a bill to repeal the Trade Union Act in its application to the devolved public sector in Wales. Welsh Labour’s budget for 2017/18 also seemed assured of acceptance, following a deal with Plaid Cymru that had involved some uncontentious concessions.

Carwyn then took questions from WEC members, most of which related to Brexit and the risks to the Welsh economy, although the replacement of Communities First and moves to promote collaboration between local authorities were also raised. I asked him about two recent developments where the private sector appeared to be encroaching on public services in Wales: the announcement of four private bidders for the Wales and the Borders rail franchise; and the plan to build a private hospital in the grounds of Morriston hospital, by relocating the existing Sancta Maria facility. On the first point, he said that the current Wales Bill would prevent the Welsh Government from running rail services directly or from establishing a new public provider (which may be true but doesn’t explain why they couldn’t have promoted an alternative not for profit approach, in line with Welsh Labour conference policy). On the second, he said that he knew nothing about the proposal but would look into it.

The Shadow Welsh Secretary’s Report was then given by Jo Stevens, the third person to hold this position since I joined the WEC in February. Jo paid tribute to her immediate predecessor, Paul Flynn, who had made his mark during his brief tenure, and highlighted the significant contribution now being made by Welsh MPs to Labour’s frontbench, across several policy areas. Jo talked about Labour’s efforts to challenge the Tories in Parliament over their handling of ‘Brexit’, putting in 170 questions to represent the 170 days until Article 50 is triggered. David Davis had been avoiding answering any questions, while Theresa May had shown her misplaced priorities by putting immigration and border controls ahead of the economy in her talks with the EU. Jo also covered a number of other areas in which she and her parliamentary colleagues were currently active, including the prospects for the proposed Swansea tidal lagoon; the failings of the Concentrix contract let by HMRC to address tax credit fraud; the campaign for state pension equality for women; and winter pressures in the NHS. Jo was keen that, when issues like grammar schools came up, Wales’ positive record should be highlighted and Jeremy was very supportive of this. Jo emphasised the need for a united response to the Boundary Review, which was due to close on 5 December, and finished by highlighting the possibility of an early general election in the spring, which was likely to be challenging for Labour, given recent opinion polls an by-election results.

An EU Update was on the agenda but was not taken as our MEP, Derek Vaughan, had sent his apologies and the issue had already been aired under Carwyn’s and Jo’s reports.

We therefore moved on to the General Secretary’s report. Dave Hagendyk began with the update on suspensions that he had promised at the last meeting. 57 members in Wales had been suspended during the leadership campaign. 23 of these, whose cases were not deemed very serious, had had their suspensions lifted but been given a warning; the remaining 34 were subject to further investigation. Dave also reported that Michelle Perfect had been replaced by Joe Lock as North Wales organiser and that the press officer, Huw Price had left to become a Special Adviser to the Welsh Government. CLPs and affiliates were now able to make nominations for the Welsh Labour Best Practice Awards (closing date: 28 January). There had been mixed results in recent council by-elections, with Labour victories in Caerphilly, Denbighshire and the Vale of Glamorgan but seats lost to opponents in Cardiff and Neath Port Talbot.

Dave then put forward a paper setting out a proposed procedure for considering whatever changes to the Welsh party’s rules and standing orders may be necessary as a result of the devolution of certain responsibilities from London to Cardiff. The proposals seemed unduly complicated to me, with varying timescales for the different areas of the rules. Some changes that are judged necessary to be made immediately (e.g. recognising the position of Welsh Labour Leader, as opposed to just Leader of the National Assembly Labour Group), but which would apparently involve minor changes to the existing rules, would be presented to conference in March, while others (including, for example, the rules for the election of the leader and deputy leader, as well as selection procedures for candidates at all levels) would be considered afterwards and either implemented by the WEC (where it has the power to do so) or dealt with at a future conference. (In addition, a later agenda item sought to initiate a consultation on the Welsh Policy Forum process with a view to agreeing the way forward at conference in March.)

In the light of all this complexity, some of us welcomed the submission by Aberconwy CLP of a motion calling for a special rules review conference, which would enable all matters dealing with the party’s structure and governance to be dealt with together at a dedicated event. I moved that this be adopted by the WEC, with the regional secretary of Unison seconding the motion. Although Aberconwy had not specified a timescale, it was made clear in the discussion (after initial criticisms that a rules review conference would be a distraction from the local election campaign) that it couldn’t take place before the late summer and probably have to wait until the autumn. Nevertheless, it was, unfortunately, defeated by 12 votes to 9.

There were also three motions (from Cynon Valley, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Swansea West CLPs) welcoming the creation of a seat for Wales on the NEC (as agreed at the Liverpool conference) but calling for it to be elected by OMOV, rather than appointed by Carwyn (a branch in Dwyfor Meirionnydd had also passed a similar motion but this was discounted because it hadn’t gone to the CLP first). Dave Hagendyk advised us that these motions could not be considered because the Welsh party does not have the power to override a decision made by the ‘national’ party conference. Nevertheless, there was a brief discussion initiated by one of the other CLP reps, who argued that members had reason to feel aggrieved because they hadn’t been consulted about the basis on which the new NEC seat would be established. I spoke to support this point and pointed out that the WEC hadn’t actually discussed the extra NEC seat at any point in the time that I had been a member and that information from comrades who were members last year suggested that it hadn’t been discussed then either. I was then personally criticised (by colleagues who either hadn’t understood or didn’t accept what I had already said) for voting at the NEC against the “WEC position” and for defending my position in media interviews, before the chair brought things to a close, after giving me another chance to defend myself, and said that if members had concerns about particular individuals’ conduct, they should make a formal complaint, rather than indulge in personal attacks during meetings. (At the end of the meeting, a senior WEC member said that he would be making a formal complaint about my “behaviour”.)

Finally on the General Secretary’s report, another CLP rep raised concerns (which I share) about the suspensions that had been carried out and it was agreed that this issue would be discussed more fully at the next meeting.

The remainder of the agenda was fairly uncontroversial. There were reports from those WEC sub-committees that had met since the last full meeting, including the Organisation sub-committee, on which I sit and which had agreed, among other things, to conduct an audit of Welsh CLPs, to ascertain how healthily (or otherwise) these bodies are functioning. There was also the item referred to above, regarding a review of the Welsh Policy-Making Process, which will be conducted by consulting party units and affiliates in the period leading up to February 2017, with the conclusions presented to Welsh party conference.

Welsh Executive Committee Meeting, 3 September 2016 (Joint Report with Chris Newman)

In opening the meeting, the Chair, Donna Hutton, congratulated Darren on this election to the NEC and welcomed Mary Williams, who had taken up the Unite seat vacated by Hannah Blythyn when she was elected to the Assembly as AM for Delyn.

Report of Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister

Carwyn Jones AM began by expressing concern about the cancellation of an NEC meeting on party reform, which had been scheduled for 6 September, as one of the items this meeting would have discussed was the package of rule changes intended to devolve greater power over the rules in Wales to the Welsh party. He was concerned that this would mean that the proposed changes would not be put to conference and there would be a year’s delay. Other members echoed his concerned but Darren pointed out that there was still an NEC meeting scheduled for 20 September, which could, in principle, agree that the proposals be put to Conference. It was agreed to write to the General Secretary, Iain McNicol, urging the NEC to approve the rule changes. It was also agreed to ask the two leadership candidates to endorse the proposals.

Carwyn also announced a plan to hold a special “Welsh Labour Convention”, in order to facilitate greater involvement of party members in the future planning of the party’s long term policy development. Huw Lewis and Janice Gregory, both recent ex-AMs, have been asked to draw up a discussion paper on this topic for the WEC’s next meeting on 5 November.

Report of the Shadow Welsh Secretary

Paul Flynn MP raised concerns about the possibility of the Labour party losing 11 of its Welsh MPs due to the forthcoming Boundary Changes (as well as losing our one MEP to Brexit). These changes are seen as an act of blatant gerrymandering by the Tories and a legal challenge is being considered because the government have not taken into account the most recent data on the number of people in each constituency. Paul also reaffirmed the urgent need for the infighting within the PLP to stop. He felt the party should come together and unite to fight the Tories and not each other. His written report was noted.

Election of the Party Development Board (PDB)

Nominations were invited for the PDB, a sub-committee of the WEC that sometimes has to make key decisions between WEC meetings. In addition to the WEC officers, Assembly Labour Leader and Shadow Welsh Secretary, Karen Wilkie, Margaret Thomas and Mary Williams were elected to represent the affiliates; and Pam Baldwin, Ceri Reeves and Darren to represent the CLPs.

EU Update

Derek Vaughan MEP’s written report was noted. Carwyn said that the key issue was the need to have access to a single and tariff free market, in order to keep the manufacturing sector in Wales. However the EU would not accept this situation without the UK government paying for this arrangement, and us accepting free movement of labour and their rules. He felt that Article 50 would be triggered by mid-2017. In the meantime, Carwyn has put together an advisory group (which would have to include Brexiteers) and strengthen the appropriate section of the civil service, in order to offer much needed assistance to the Welsh Government. Assurance would have to be offered to wales’ key foreign investors. On the question of a second referendum he felt it was not politically acceptable. Any deal with the EU would have to be ratified by all 4 UK parliaments; any decision concerning devolved matters such as, fisheries, farming and the environment will require Welsh Assembly approval as well as Wales having direct negotiations with the EU.

General Secretary’s Report

David Hagendyk returned to the matter of the proposed rule changes for the Welsh party and secured agreement from the WEC that, if the changes were agreed by UK conference, there would be a wide-ranging consultation with Welsh party members as to what should be done with the new powers. On staffing, it was announced that Michelle Perfect, North Wales Organiser and Welsh Labour Women’s Officer, has resigned in order to work for Hannah Blythyn, AM for Delyn. Her replacement in North Wales would be interviewed shortly but Jo McIntyre was to be the new Women’s Officer. Under the newly-announced Organising Academy, training and training packages would soon be available for party members, with a particular focus on CLPs where UKIP is a threat; Fraser Welsh would be taking charge of this work. Details of the Boundary Changes for Wales would be published on 13 September and there would be a meeting on the implications on 16 September and begin to try and agree a common Labour position. These changes will have a big effect on the Party and raises the question of how we should respond.

Among the points raised in the discussion was the suggestion that mass voter registration should be promoted via the universities. Concerns were also raised about various issues arising out of the leadership contest, including the online abuse that had taken place and the anonymous criticisms that had been reported in the media regarding certain full-time staff. Darren raised concerns about the large number of suspensions of party members in recent weeks and asked Dave about the involvement of Welsh Labour staff in the process and the numbers of Welsh party members affected. Dave said that he did not yet have accurate data on the numbers suspended in Wales but understood that this was being complied by the party centrally and promised to pass on the information once received.

WEC Committees and Panels

Volunteers were enlisted for the Appeals panel; the Organisation Committee; the Local Government Committee; and working parties to take forward Welsh conference decisions on Making Gender Balance a Reality; the Welsh Labour Review of Policy Process; and School Term Time Contracts.

Labour Conference 2016

Arrangements were discussed, including the Delegates’ Briefing, Welsh Night and the scheduled debate on Wales. Chris remarked that it was unfortunate that Welsh ministers were not able to attend conference to talk about their respective policy areas, because the Assembly would be sitting at the time, and asked if anything could be done about this. Her frustration was echoed by others but it was reported that this was a matter for the Assembly as a whole and it was unlikely to change in the short term, give the political balance.

Local Government elections and September Event

The event planned for 17 September on next May’s elections was publicised.

Welsh Executive Committee report, 9 July 2016 (Joint Report with Chris Newman)

There was only one substantive item on the agenda for this meeting: ‘Implications of the European referendum result’. Just over a fortnight after the vote, it had seemed the best use of the meeting time to give detailed consideration to the implications of the decision. Undoubtedly, the ‘Leave’ vote was – and is – a hugely important issue for the party and for Wales but it seemed artificial to exclude all other topics, especially when the party was in the midst of a leadership crisis.

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, explained the situation. The Welsh Government had already sent out a team to Brussels, for exploratory talks with EU officials, to see what side deals, if any, could be struck for Wales. Nobody yet seemed to know what was likely to happen. Wales could not depend on the support of Scotland because they are moving toward a position of independence. This would not be a viable option for Wales, even if it were politically desirable, as we don’t have the same economic resources as the Scots.

It is vital, Carwyn said, that Wales should retain access to the single market; that was certainly the view of major firms based in the UK, such as TATA, who do not want to pay a 5% tariff on their products – but the single market means free movement of labour which the ‘Brexit’ decision implies most voters don’t want.

Departure from the EU could cost Wales some £650 million a year. The Welsh Government cannot guarantee funding for the big projects promised in its recent election if they take more than two years to complete. The projects affected could include the City Deal, the Metro and the apprenticeship scheme. The funding provided to Wales under the Barnett Formula would prove inadequate compared to the support currently available from EU Structural Funds. Once we had left the EU, we would not be able to trust the Tories to make up the difference. Therefore the Welsh Government needs to press ahead with seeking more devolved powers from Westminster.

Carwyn acknowledged that some people were raising the question of a second referendum. He certainly felt that all four UK parliaments would have to ratify the final deal, once we know what it looks like. We would have to reject it within the next twelve months if it is unacceptable. Clearly the public have been lied to. We need to start campaigning for greater social justice and the need to improve workers’ rights, to combat racism and end exploitation of workers especially as about 150,000 jobs in Wales are dependent on the EU.

Derek Vaughan MEP likened this period to a state of bereavement. The outcome was the result of a complex mixture of factors such as the influence of the right wing media, which – together with pro-Brexit MPs – had told lies and played the race card, plus the failure of Labour MPs to talk enough about immigration issues. For example Labour did not stress the fact that there are a similar number of UK citizens living in the EU as there are immigrants living in this country. The Tory Lobbying Act had also played its part by gagging charities and trade unions from speaking out on inequality matters prior to the 2015 election. It left the poor in our society feeling they had nothing to lose if we left the EU.

As a country, we need to change the way we deal with the EU but the EU is already fed up with the UK. The current situation has left us with the pound dropping in value, an estimated 750,000 jobs disappearing and businesses losing confidence in investing in the UK. In Wales, we need to ensure that EU funding for our major projects is spent by 2018 when the UK might leave the EU. Uncertainty about when Article 50 will be invoked was discussed. As for a second referendum, it may be possible to have one, as circumstances change and the final deal is shown to the people, whose views may change when they realise that they were lied to.

The discussion was then opened up to the rest of the meeting and a number of points were raised:

A question was raised as to how far we could currently quantify the likely impact of Brexit. Carwyn responded that 150,000 jobs in Wales are dependent on access to the single market and funding of apprenticeships would certainly suffer if EU funding were not replaced but Derek explained that full data on projects benefiting from the current funding programme was not yet fully available.

Concern was expressed about the damaging role that social media played in circulating racist comments. The Labour Party needs to educate its supporters against harbouring such ideas. For example in launching their local council election campaign, Newport Council had recently passed a resolution expressing pride in being a diverse city.

Chris argued that Labour needed to make the case for social justice and solidarity in response to the divisive and racist ideas of the right and to tackle the underlying causes of social division by, for example, repealing the Tory anti-union laws in order to allow unions more effectively to challenge unscrupulous employers who played off migrant and indigenous workers. Other WEC members said that we should point out that migrant workers often did the jobs that indigenous workers were reluctant to undertake and that Labour should campaign for a Living Wage and for more robust trade union recognition, as well as for the retention of the employment rights won through the EU, which would now be under threat.

It was agreed to send a letter of solidarity from the WEC, to a) Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth Labour Party, concerning the defacing by local fascists, of Michael Foot’s memorial in the city and b) to Jo Cox’s family; and to support a proposed remembrance day commemoration for those who had gone from Wales to fight fascism in Spain in the International Brigades.

Darren argued that Labour had failed to make a sufficiently convincing case for the EU over recent years and, in particular, had been too reluctant to acknowledge the neo-liberal drift of EU policy over the last twenty years and to set out a credible reform agenda. He pointed out that, despite the criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn’s role in the ‘Remain’ campaign by the MPs who had challenged his leadership in recent weeks, some 63% of those who had backed Labour in the general election had voted ‘Remain’ – almost the same percentage as for SNP voters, for which Nichola Sturgeon had been lauded. Another CLPs rep picked up the point about the divisions opening up in the PLP and the potential damage that could be done to Labour’s ability to campaign on issues like Europe. She observed that the party had secured considerable additional revenue as a result of the large increase in membership over the last year and proposed the WEC take a position that more of this money should go directly to branches to assist their campaigning. The chair advised her, however, that we could not vote on this as it was not within the competency of the WEC.

Paul Flynn MP, attending his first WEC meeting since taking over as Shadow Welsh Secretary, reported on the very unpleasant atmosphere in the House of Commons and said that some Labour MPs were behaving unprofessionally. Such public disunity was having an adverse effect on the standing of our party. Paul reminded the committee that he had not supported Ed Miliband in the 2010 leadership election but did not criticise him while in office, unlike the current situation where some Labour MPs seemed to think it was time for a free-for-all against Jeremy Corbyn. This point was echoed by other Committee members.

Following the conclusion of the EU debate, the minutes of previous meetings were circulated, including those of the Party Development Board (PDB), a sub-committee of the WEC. Darren asked when the PDB would next be subject to election and it was agreed that this would be done at the next meeting.

Welsh Executive Committee Report, 14 May 2016

This was the first full meeting of the Welsh Executive Committee (WEC) elected at the end of last year, which took office at Welsh Labour conference in February (there was a very brief meeting at the conference, to elect a chair and vice-chair and fill some other posts).

Election report

The main item of business was a report and discussion on the Assembly election campaign, the results and subsequent developments at Cardiff Bay.

Carwyn Jones said that Labour’s result had been better than expected and that the results in Cardiff North and the Vale, in particular, had been gratifying, but our overall vote had gone down and much of it had gone to UKIP. The latter had already split, in effect, into two groups in the Assembly. Plaid had done well in Blaenau Gwent and Cardiff West, as well as in the Rhondda, focussing mainly on local issues. There was little doubt that they had intended to take over the government when nominating Leanne for First Minister on 11 May and that Plaid AMs had approached the Tories and UKIP with this in mind. There had been strong public opposition to their manoeuvring, however.

Janice Gregory also gave her perspective as campaign co-ordinator. She said the campaign team had met weekly and had had big issues to contend with, like the steel crisis, which has had to be factored into the campaign. She praised the team in Transport House, whom she felt couldn’t have done more. She said that the result in the Rhondda had taken everyone by surprise.

The general secretary, Dave Hagendyk said it had been a very difficult campaign, with the Labour vote squeezed by Plaid and UKIP. Labour had undertaken four direct mailings in target seats and distributed three million pieces of print altogether, as well as using Facebook targetting. Across Wales, close to 300,000 people had been spoken to – more than anywhere else in the UK, outside London. Labour’s result in North Wales had been tremendous but recent elections had seen the party retreat eastward and we now needed to work hard to re-establish ourselves in the West and North-West of Wales. Welsh Labour would carry out a detailed analysis of the campaign and election results over the next couple of months and bring back a report to a future meeting.

There was a lengthy and thorough discussion of the campaign, some of the main points of which included: details of the campaigning tactics employed by Plaid in the Rhondda; the desirability in future of campaign messages tailored more specifically at North Wales; and the need to analyse the reasons for the big vote for UKIP.

In the context of a comment about the damaging effects of party disunity, there was some criticism (justifiably, in my view) of the circumstances of Stephen Doughty’s resignation from the front bench earlier in the year. Stephen, who was present as one of the two representatives of the Welsh PLP, defended himself, saying that he had resigned in writing prior to the contentious BBC interview on the matter and – notwithstanding his criticisms of the reshuffle – had worked loyally with the party leadership throughout. His explanation was accepted by the chair.

Carwyn alluded to the events surrounding Ken Livingstone’s comments about Zionism and the cancellation of Jeremy Corbyn’s planned visit to Wales. He criticised Ken for detracting from the positive messages of the campaign, saying that a day had been wasted, and reiterated that he had not stopped Jeremy from coming to Wales: the decision had been made by mutual agreement. While agreeing with Carwyn about the unhelpfulness of Ken’s comments, I expressed concern about his call for Ken to be expelled, as I felt that any disciplinary penalty should await the outcome of the party’s investigation. I also said that, notwithstanding the explanation he had given about Jeremy’s visit, the comments in the Western Mail attributed to a “party source” had been damaging, as they had implied that Jeremy was an electoral liability. Carwyn said that the media coverage had been “unfortunate” and Janice added that it was difficult to prevent people lacking any real authority from preventing themselves in the media as anonymous “Labour sources”. Andy Richards of Unite said that his union backed Carwyn’s position on the Livingstone issue.

I also commented on the Plaid campaign in Cardiff West, which had been very negative and focussed entirely on local government, rather than Assembly, issues, and I endorsed another Committee member’s comment that it was a shame that the Welsh Labour manifesto had been published so late.

Report from Nia Griffith, Shadow Welsh Secretary – Nia talked about the series of issues over which the UK Tory government had been forced to back down recently, including their plans to force all English schools to become Academies, as well as aspects of the draconian Trade Union Bill. The Queen’s Speech was due to take place in the coming week and the proposed legislation to tackle extremism was likely to be particularly controversial, in the light of the disgraceful Islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan. Nia also commented on the implications of the Tories’ proposed parliamentary boundary changes, which would reduce Wales’ representation from 40 seats to 29. Stephen Doughty observed that the partial success of the campaign against the Trade Union Bill showed that the Tories can be defeated. Dave Hagendyk added that thanks were also due to Labour’s representatives in the House of Lords, including Eluned Morgan, who had now been elected to the Assembly.

European Referendum – Dave reported that printed campaign materials had now been delivered. The campaign needed to engage both with those voters who needed to be persuaded to vote ‘yes’ and with those already inclined to do so, who needed to be encouraged to turn out. Many loyal Labour voters were unconvinced of the need to remain in the EU and so much of the party’s efforts would be focussed on ‘heartland’ areas, rather than election marginals. There was a discussion, covering a number of points, including: the need to get the student vote out; the varying attitudes to the EU in different economic sectors; and the need to counter UKIP’s appeal to disaffected voters. Margaret Thomas of Unison said that her union had registered as a third-party campaign for the referendum, having consulted members, who’d been overwhelmingly supportive of a ‘yes’ vote. I said that Labour needed to have a distinct message from the official ‘IN’ campaign, emphasising the need for reform of the EU, to avoid repeating our mistake in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, when we were seen as too close to the Tories in the ‘Better Together’ campaign.

General Secretary’s report – Dave said that the Welsh party’s policy consultation work now needed to be refocussed on UK-wide issues, via ‘Your Britain’. He also reported that Welsh Labour would be left with just two organisers after the referendum: Michelle in North Wales and one (to be appointed) in the South.

Party Reform update – The chair, Donna Hutton reported that a ‘Party Reform’ exercise was being led by the NEC, with a number of strands, including one concerning the relationship between the party centrally and its Welsh and Scottish organisations. Andy Richards had been representing Welsh Labour in discussions about areas of party activity in which responsibility could be devolved to Wales. Any proposals would be put before the party conference in September, after which the Welsh party would conduct its own, detailed review of its rules and processes, which would culminate at the 2017 Welsh conference. In response to a question from Catherine Thomas (Mid & West Wales CLPs), it was confirmed that this would include agreeing a more consistent approach to gender-balanced representation.

Welsh Labour Conference 2017 – It was confirmed that this will take place in Llandudno, 22-26 March.