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Downing Street refuses to distance itself from suggestion House of Commons could sit in Senedd

13 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Westminster and the Senedd. Picture on the right by Richard Szwejkowski (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Downing Street has refused to distance itself from a suggestion that the House of Commons could move to the Senedd.

The idea that it could move to Wales’ national parliament for two weeks every three years, was put forward by the Leader of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Under the plan the Westminster chamber would tour Cardiff, Scotland and Northern Ireland to show its dedication to the Union.

A Downing Street spokesperson told The Times that Boris Johnson was committed to decentralising decision-making but ultimately it was a “matter for parliament”.

The Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones, responded to the suggestion that the House of Commons could sit in the Senedd with three laugh emojis.

Under the plan it would happen in the two weeks in September after the summer recess and before the break for party conferences, according to the Telegraph newspaper.

“It would bring Parliament closer to the people,” a source familiar with the proposal told them.

The plan would mean all 650 MPs moving around the UK. According to the newspaper, Jacob Rees-Mogg has discussed the idea with the House of Commons speaker.

The Senedd currently has room only for 60 Members of the Senedd.

“The size of chambers would of course be an issue,” Ben Riley-Smith of the Telegraph said. “When I raised that, I was told Commons doesn’t fit 650 MPs and that people cram in and stand for debates.”

The devolved administrations would also have to approve the move.

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