Support our Nation today - please donate here

Ban on politicians lying law shelved despite cross party support

01 May 2024 3 minute read
Former Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price.

Emily Price

Legislation that would ban politicians from lying has been shelved following concerns from the Welsh Government that it could risk the entire future of the Senedd Reform Bill.

The amendment, which would have made it a criminal offence for a politician to deliberately mislead the public, was tabled by former Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price.

It had the support of Welsh Conservative MS, Darren Millar, Liberal Democrat MS, Jane Dodds and Labour backbencher Lee Waters.

Speaking during the Senedd Reform debate in the Senedd on Tuesday (April 30) Mr Millar said there is a “global problem” in politics with “untruths and misinformation”.

He said: “That is a blight, I’m afraid, on political discourse, and has been particularly an increasing blight in recent years, and it’s undermining confidence in our democracies.

“It’s leading to a toxic political discourse and environment that we, unfortunately, all get swamped in.”

Llanelli MS, Lee Waters hit back at Mr Millar over Tory claims that the Welsh Government’s road-building policy represents a “ban on road building”.

He also pointed to claims by the Welsh Conservatives that the 20mph default speed limit is a “blanket” policy.


Mr Waters said: “That’s not an interpretation of a fact. It’s not legitimate opinion. It’s simply untrue. And it can be shown to be so, which is the test that has been mentioned. And yes, of course, there has been a change in criteria.

“There’s a policy debate to be had around that, but new roads are being developed and will be delivered, so there is not a ban. The Conservatives know that, they persist in saying it, but it is false, deceptive and is wilfully and knowingly intended to mislead.”

Jane Dodds warned there was a “concerning rise” in public scepticism regarding a politicians’ ability to act with “honesty and competence”.

Although there was cross party agreement on the amendment, conversations were had behind the scenes to instead refer the matter to the Standards Committee so that it didn’t derail the Senedd Reform Bill as a whole.

Mr Price said he understood the government’s position that further legal and policy analysis needed to be carried out.

However, he added that he felt it “cannot wait until the next Senedd”

He said: “I mean, the wave of populist, unscrupulous politicians, the purveyors of post-truth politics – you know, we’re not immune from that.

“That’s coming in our direction, and it would be too late to act by the next Senedd – we need to act in this Senedd.”

Mr Price said that based on the concerns he’d heard in the chamber he would not be pressing for a vote on his amendment.

He said: “I know there are many Labour Members that actually want to vote with this amendment, but they can’t, for understandable reasons.

“I don’t want to put them in a position whereby they are conflicted; I want us all to work together. So, at this stage, I won’t be pressing it to a vote, I ask that other supporters don’t, but let’s get this legislated now, in this Senedd, so we can create that new chapter for our democracy.”

The Standards Committee is already looking at potential recall mechanisms following an incident involving a Plaid Cymru MS.

Rhys ab Owen is facing suspension from the Senedd after a report found he touched a woman ‘inappropriately’ in taxi.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 days ago

What a shame Wales is missing the chance to lead the World with this.
I’m sick of lies from all Parties

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
11 days ago

That’s a shame. Politics needs cleaning up and one of the first steps could have been to ban lying. It seems that politicians know they are going to lie to us at some point and would prefer to continue doing so. No wonder the general public find it hard to trust them!

Last edited 11 days ago by Steve A Duggan
11 days ago

So this means that they can carry on lying?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 days ago

As usual Plaid’s Adam Price is the moral compass of the Senedd. Who can remember his attempt to do a citizen’s arrest on war criminal Tony Blair over his support and actions with the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 only for the Westminster establishment to block his attempt. He now wanted to enact a law that would make lying to the Welsh public have real consequences, but again the usual lame excuses how it will affect the Senedd Reform Bill but where’s there a will there’s a way, although I do agree that this law would have affected the… Read more »

9 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Adam Price believes trans women are women and trans men are men. That’s 2 lies.

6 days ago

Well, what an absolute shame – this would really have gotten rid of the rotten apples in the Senedd, then again there wouldn’t hardly be anyone left!*! And how interesting that it was the Gender Quota Bill which scuppered it – they all know that humans can’t change sex, that men can’t be women, so they didn’t implement the “Lying Law” because they all want to continue Lying – doesn’t that instil confidence in our politicians.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.