De Labourpartij in Wales zal, als ze na de verkiezingen weer aan de macht komen, met volle kracht een rookverbod in de horeca proberen in te voeren dat gelijk is aan de regeling in Ierland.
Puborganisaties, altijd erg Labour-minded, dreigen nu hun leden te adviseren om de partij bij de verkiezingen in de steek te laten.
A hardline anti-smoking policy in pubs in Wales now looks almost certain to be brought in if Labour is returned to power after the election.
The Labour manifestos for the two countries are radically different: Wales will get the power to ban smoking in all enclosed public places, while non-food pubs in England will be able to choose whether to allow smoking to continue.
Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan said go-it-alone powers for Wales would be included in a new Health Bill to be introduced soon after the election.
The Welsh version of the Labour manifesto states that the enclosed-places ban will be “subject to consultation”.
That consultation has already been completed by the National Assembly’s committee on smoking in public places, and the hardline recommendations are now expected to be published quickly after the election.
Welsh politicians in Westminster and at the Welsh Assembly have argued for more than two years for Wales to curb smoking without waiting for England.
Scores of licensees have delivered petitions to Welsh MPs and the Welsh Assembly under The Publican’s Butt Out! campaign to prevent further intervention in the Department of Health’s plans for a partial smoking ban.
Yet the Assembly’s stance now appears to have hardened, with committee members privately admitting an Irish-style ban will be recommended in the report.