Welsh leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford AM
Welsh leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford AM



[I’d like to start by thanking everyone for coming today – to the launch of Welsh Labour’s manifesto for this General Election.]

Hoffwn ddechrau drwy ddiolch i bawb am ddod heddiw – i lansiad maniffesto Llafur Cymru ar gyfer yr etholiad cyffredinol hwn.

In whatever capacity I visit, it is always a genuine and uplifting experience to come to Coleg Cambria.

Not only is this now one of the best and most innovative Further Education Colleges anywhere in Europe, as you can so clearly see from the quality of the infrastructure around us it is also one of the most physically impressive learning environments anywhere.

A testament both to the leadership team here, but also to the investment – in the buildings and more importantly in the futures – that we in Wales have chosen to make in the lives of our young people.

I want to thank the college for all the excellent work that they do and for their kind hospitality today.

There is little doubt in my mind just how important these coming few weeks are.

Not only for Wales, but for the whole of the United Kingdom.

I believe that when the history of our times is written, this general election will stand as a moment of profound and lasting change.

A time when our nation; our economy, our public services and our planet set out on a different course.

And as we stand here today it is for us to decide what that change looks like.

Forward with Labour:

Through new and urgent investment in our public services;

Through real change to tackle the climate emergency;

And through stronger rights for working people and working communities.

Or backwards with the Tories:

Through a hard Brexit and a smaller economy;

Through an NHS firesale auctioneered by Donald Trump;

And through the relentless, merciless, pitiless onwards march of austerity.

This general election is the most important since 1945.

The destructive policies of the UK Conservative government have left our communities damaged, our economy one of the most unequal in Europe and the UK ill-prepared for the climate emergency it now faces.

This election is the chance to put that right.

A clear and simple choice.

A choice between a Labour government for the many or a Tory government for the few.

A choice between a UK Labour government that wants to put in place a £10 Living Wage, ban zero hours contracts and invest in a green industrial revolution or a Tory government that wants to, strip away rights for working people, put profit before the planet and cut our public services to the bone.

This radical manifesto we set out today articulates that clear choice.

[It spells out a new contract with the people of Wales about how Labour governments in Wales and in Westminster will work together – in a new and progressive partnership – to invest in our public services, to protect working people and to protect our planet for generations to come.

Mae’n egluro contract newydd gyda phobl Cymru ynghylch sut y bydd llywodraethau Llafur yng Nghymru ac yn San Steffan yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd – mewn partneriaeth newydd a blaengar – i fuddsoddi yn ein gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, diogelu pobl sy’n gweithio a diogelu ein planed am genedlaethau i ddod.]

It makes clear the work – the proud work – that our Welsh Labour government has done in recent years to stand up for Wales; to protect working people and to protect our vital public services from what the Tories at Westminster have done.

Welsh Labour has kept our NHS in public hands; it has created thousands of new jobs and high quality apprenticeships; it has put renewable energy and biodiversity at the heart of everything we do and, as we can see today, it is putting in place the biggest-ever investment – £3.7bn – in new school and college buildings that Wales has ever seen.

On Thursday I watched and listened on the television to Jeremy Corbyn and our Labour colleagues in Birmingham as they launched the UK manifesto.

What struck me was the important, the just and the radical things they want to do in England that we have already done in Wales:

Free Prescriptions; Free School Breakfasts, Free Hospital Parking – we’ve already done it.

We’ve already abolished the Right to Buy.

We signed no new PFI contracts in Wales.

We have no Academies or Free Schools in Wales to abolish.

The Welsh NHS is already in Public Hands – and will stay that way.

We’ve kept our School Building Programme and we’ve kept a guard on every train.

We’ve already established a Development Bank.

We’ve protected the Educational Maintenance Allowance; Nurse Bursaries and Union Learning Funds.

We’ve already put University Maintenance Grants back in.

We’ve already legislated for a Future Generations Act; for Sprinklers in all new homes and for a ground breaking Violence Against Women Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Act.

We’ve already banned Fracking in Wales.

We’ve already committed to Votes at 16 and to making Wales a Fair Work nation.

And we’ve already repealed major elements of the pernicious Trade Union Act.

And we will go on doing those things.

Because that’s the difference a Labour government can make.

We’ve shown it.

People in Wales live with those things every single day.

But this manifesto does something else.

It gives us the platform to go so much further and to go so much faster.

To put Labour in power at Westminster and to do so much more.

To kick start a Green Industrial Revolution across the UK creating thousands of new jobs in the economy of tomorrow.

To end austerity and invest an additional £3.4bn pounds every single year in our public services.

To put Wales on track for a net zero carbon energy system within the 2030s.

To put free, full-fibre broadband into the home and office of everyone in Wales

To end Universal Credit and replace it with fairness and justice.

To extend maternity and paternity rights.

To put mail, rail and energy in public hands.

To end food bank Britain.

And to end the tragedy and the waste of in-work poverty.

That’s the choice at this election.

That’s the choice that this manifesto we launch today sets out.

And that’s the difference that a UK Labour government can begin to make if Jeremy Corbyn and his team step into Downing Street on 13th December.

Those choices we make next at this election – about addressing the climate change emergency, about the future of our public services and about the future of Wales will shape our lives for the next generation.

We need to make sure that it’s a UK Labour government making those decisions.

And we need to make sure that there is the maximum number of Welsh Labour MPs at Westminster, acting as a strong and radical voice, standing up for Wales.

A triumphalist Tory victory puts the very existence of the United Kingdom at risk.

Welsh Labour’s 20 point plan sets out a coherent plan to remake it.

A triumphalist Tory victory puts the very future of the NHS in jeopardy.

Labour’s investment plan helps to secure it for future generations.

Welsh Labour – Standing up for Wales.

[Standing up for Wales on Brexit, because only Labour will put Brexit back in the hands of the people.]

Sefyll cornel Cymru ar fater Brexit, oherwydd dim ond Llafur fydd yn rhoi Brexit yn ôl yn nwylo’r bobl.

Within six months a UK Labour government will put a new Brexit deal to the public in a referendum alongside the option to remain.

And in that referendum our Welsh Labour government will campaign unapologeticallyunreservedly and enthusiastically to remain.

Because three years on from the 2016 EU referendum we understand so much more about how Wales is uniquely exposed to a hard Brexit.

About the devastation it would do to our manufacturing industry.

About the protections it would shear from working people.

About the damage it would do to individuals, business and communities the length and the breadth of Wales.

About the reputational harm it would do to Wales and the UK to be seen setting our faces against our nearest neighbours.

Denying our history and the common values and common interests we share.

Standing up for a Wales rooted in economic justice, social justice and environmental justice.

Building a different and a better future.

One that we can be proud to pass on to future generations.

Aneurin Bevan once said that:

‘Private charity can never be a substitute for organised justice.’

That is, at root, the choice at stake in this election.

A future where those whose needs are greatest will have to rely on the cold charity of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Or a vison of a kinder, stronger and more sustainable UK under Labour where our people, our nation and our planet is strengthened through fairness, equality and respect.

[That’s the future we in this room are fighting for in this election.]

Dyna’r dyfodol yr ydym ni yn yr ystafell hon yn brwydro amdano yn yr etholiad hwn.

[And it’s the one we present to our fellow citizens of Wales.]

A dyma’r un rydyn ni’n ei gyflwyno i’n cyd-ddinasyddion yng Nghymru.

Thank you.




[ ] denotes where speech is spoken in Welsh

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