Stalemate at Welsh Assembly leads to delays in Wales’ rural development plan

Problems forming a new Welsh Assembly administration are delaying work on the drafting of a new Welsh Rural Development Plan and other agriculture policy decisions.

Efforts by Labour Party leader Rhodri Morgan to form a power sharing coalition with the six Lib-Dem members stalled earlier this week, leaving him considering forming a minority government.

But he insisted that this would not go ahead unless he was sure it was “stable and sustainable”. To achieve this Labour would have to agree to give ground to one or more opposition parties on key policy issues, but would not force him to place opposition members in ministerial jobs.

However, a spokesman for Plaid Cymru, the second largest party after the recent election, insisted that talks would continue about other options.

Some Cardiff insiders suggested that even a so called rainbow alliance of parties would become more attractive as the May 31 legal deadline for electing a new First Minister loomed. 

Dafydd Elis Thomas, the assembly’s presiding officer, denied that a crisis was developing, but Welsh Secretary Peter Hain warned that a new election would be triggered if agreement was not reached in time.

Meanwhile farming leaders are continuing to meet civil servants.

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