Starmer condemned for ‘short-changing Wales’ after refusing to promise HS2 funding

Keir Starmer has been condemned after he refused to commit to giving Wales its fair share of HS2 if he becomes Prime Minister.

Llŷr Gruffydd, the MS for North Wales, has taken aim at Labour’s leader in Westminster for “short-changing Wales” following his recent visit to Holyhead with the new First Minister, Vaughan Gething.

During the visit the UK Labour leader was asked if he would redesignate the high speed rail route HS2 as an “England-only” project if the Labour wins next year’s general election. A refusal to do so would see Wales miss out to the tune of billions of pounds.

The current Conservative UK government has repeatedly insisted that HS2 is an “England and Wales” project, despite the entire route being in England.

As a result, Wales will not receive “Barnett consequential” funding under the formula used to finance the devolved government.

Both the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland are benefitting in this way.

Llŷr Gruffydd MS said: “This is a matter of basic fairness. It’s perfectly clear to everyone that HS2 is and always was an England-only project.

“The designation as an England and Wales project despite not a single meter of track being laid in Wales isn’t just absurd – it’s insulting.

“Keir Starmer’s point blank refusal to acknowledge this basic unfairness and to commit to putting it right means he is short-changing Wales and its communities.

“It just goes to show that whichever party is in government in Westminster, they can’t be trusted to look after the interests of the people of Wales.

“Wales has suffered from chronic underfunding at the hands of Westminster for far too long.

“The Barnett Formula completely ignores Wales’ needs. It has led to billions being denied to Wales from HS2, a Welsh Government budget worth over £1bn less, and local authorities up and down the country in crisis. Our communities are suffering terribly as a result.

“We know that this is not as good as it gets for the people of Wales. They deserve so much better than what they are getting from the London parties.

“It’s abundantly clear that Keir Starmer is taking Wales for granted.

“He has demonstrated time and again an unwillingness move away from the Tory playbook of denying Wales its fair share.

“You don’t have to take my word for it and as the Mark Drakeford recently confirmed just as much in the Senedd.

“Plaid Cymru is the only party that will always stand up for fairness and ambition for Wales.”


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  • Marc Jones
    published this page in News 2024-04-05 14:05:41 +0100

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