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English Tory MP slams Senedd expansion plans

18 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Jonathan Gullis MP leaves 10 Downing Street. Photo Belinda Jiao PA Images

Former Conservative minister Jonathan Gullis has attacked plans to expand the Senedd, describing it as a waste of money.

During a question to Welsh secretary David TC Davies during Wednesday’s meeting of the Welsh Affairs Committee, Mr Gullis, the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: “Wales gets £1.20 per head for public services for every £1 in England. Yet the Welsh Labour-run government spends less than this on their public services”.

“Does the minister agree with me that ruinous Welsh Labour Government should stop wasting the money on things like the Senedd expansion and instead spend money where it is needed, tackling the backlogs in hospitals and stopping the decline of education in Wales?”

The Welsh Secretary replied: “There is money being wasted in the Senedd on, for example, up to £100 million increasing the number of Senedd members at a time of economic difficulty, and I hope that the Members chuntering on the other side of the House are listening carefully to what he has to say.”

£12 million

Proposals to expand the Senedd from 60 members to 96 have been backed by both Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru.

The cost of expansion is estimated to be around £12 million per year, with the changes introduced in time for the next Senedd election in 2026.

An opinion poll conducted last summer suggested the public aren’t on board with the expansion plans.

The YouGov poll asked the public: ‘Do you support or oppose increasing the number of seats in the Senedd, from 60 to 96?’

With ‘don’t’ knows’ removed, only 39% backed expanding the Senedd, with 61% opposed.

A large chunk of respondents, 33%, however, fell into the ‘don’t know’ bracket, suggesting that there is a lack of public knowledge about the plans.

Then Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, demand a referendum on expanding the Senedd last year, a call which has been supported by the Welsh Conservatives.


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Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
14 days ago

I firmly support the expansion of the Senedd (to 100 members for a Lower House) but if this is going to happen the Welsh Government must step up and win the argument for change with the people of Cymru. We should take note that once again the Welsh Conservatives are opposed to effective governance, still living in a pre-devolution fantasyland.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
14 days ago

The house in need of correction brings on another (Virginia and the ‘Leader of the House’, the other day) double act, Jonny Gullis and David ‘Twin Carb’ Davies to stage a little theatre before that sad assembly….

They will never remove the contamination of Fat Shanks and should pull the building down and make another cenotaph, this one to all those who died under this Tory Government…

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
14 days ago

I’m in two minds as to the expansion of the Senedd, 96 is a large number. However, as Cymru is shortly going to be less represented in Westminster increasing the Senedd seems only right. What bothers me is the cheek of the Tories when the poor state of Cymru is mainly down to them. They appear to voice concern when in reality it just political point scoring in the hope of gaining votes.

Riki
Riki
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

It’s all Fluff, they really don’t care how big the Senedd is, because at the end of the day. It still won’t stop The English running the UK, and speaking, or lack there of, for the Welsh and Scots abroad.

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
14 days ago

The Welsh Government needs to make a strong case and win over the ‘don’t knows’. There is a complacency within Welsh Labour in their failure to present robust arguments and promote them to the public at large.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
14 days ago

Seeing as a poll is being cited in this report i would point out that in the only poll that mattered – the 2021 elections to the Senedd – 75% of those who were elected were members of parties that campaigned on a manifesto which supported increasing the number of Senedd members. The people of Wales have clearly spoken on this matter.

David TC Davies
David TC Davies
13 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

There was no mention of increasing the size of the Senedd in either Plaid’s or WL’s manifesto.

Richar
Richar
13 days ago

There is no mention of running the nhs down, failing our nation on a host of issues in yours !

Rob
Rob
14 days ago

I have no issue if the Welsh Tories in the Senedd voicing their concerns over this matter, after all that’s what they were democratically elected to do. But for a Tory MP who represents an English constituency it really is none of his business!!

Mr Gullis should focus on matters in England which effects his constituents in Stoke on Trent.

Hywel
Hywel
14 days ago

What a joke, when their ‘House of Cronies’ has approaching 1000 FatBoys, pockets probably stuffed with multimillion kickbacks from deals for unusable PPI.
They fear a more efficient Senedd with a proportionate number of members for the increasing workload.
We’ll take our independence and build a better way to live.

Riki
Riki
13 days ago

Yeah, cause people just don’t understand do they? Apparently Only the English (Who pretend to be British) are entitled to represent themselves. On Wales and Scotland, I still don’t understand why Enemies of the UK don’t use how both countries are treated as a stick to S**** England over the head with. Surely if you were Russia, or even China. You could do so much to the image of the UK (England) if you were to explain to your population what the UK actually is. They aren’t white Knights sat atop a Morale high horse!

Nia James
Nia James
13 days ago

Everyday when I wake up I check what Jonathan Gullis has to be say about our nation and then I prepare to face the day.

Dafydd
Dafydd
13 days ago
Reply to  Nia James

fantastic – Im honestly laughing out loud!

Iago
Iago
13 days ago

Rather than expanding the Senedd they should spend more money and resources on meeting the target of a reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. The Assembly/Senedd has failed the Welsh language since its conception. The number of Welsh speakers was actually increasing before devolution. Welsh politicians should put Wales, Welsh culture and Welsh heritage before thinking of themselves and their parties.

Rob
Rob
13 days ago
Reply to  Iago

Its not the Senedd or devolution thats failing Wales its the Welsh Labour Government.
A larger Senedd would increase scrutiny and imposing greater pressure on the Welsh Government.

Tim
Tim
13 days ago

If the English Tory MP was really concerned about tax payers money he should support reforming (or abolishing) the bloated House of Lords. Members of the House of Lords pocketed nearly £15m in taxpayers’ cash from daily allowances and expenses in the space of 1 year (2020/2021). The unelected House of Lords is a permanent stain on our democracy and should be slimmed down to a bare minimum at the very least and members forced to campaign to be elected.

Gareth
Gareth
13 days ago

The Senedd, along with Nicola Sturgeon are the main targets for Tory attacks and a sustained smear campaign, purely to deflect from the disaster that is the Tory Gov and the UK in general. We should not rise to such petty baiting, and concentrate on putting over the facts to our population, of the positives and benefits of expansion of the Senedd.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
13 days ago

None of his business, he should focus on his own constituency

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
13 days ago

No lectures on money wasting from the money wasters please. These liars by omission like to push this £1.20/£1 line to stoke up anger in England but they leave out that we are £300m underfunded year on year, have to suffer our generated wealth being stolen and as a result are one of the poorest countries in Europe. N. Ireland has a 90 seat Parliament to govern for a smaller population. They don’t mention that nor do they acknowledge that we need a bigger Parliament in preparation for the day when we will be free from their prejudiced filth.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
13 days ago

I like to play the ‘English Gent’ says the one time teacher and short time vociferous MP, he once described his classroom personality as a mix of Fat Shanks and Rees-Mogg and tells that his nick-name was ‘Grumpy Gullis’ on account of “he never smiles”…

Let us be thankful for the small mercy that he is no longer in the teaching profession…

Last edited 13 days ago by Mab Meirion
Llyn
Llyn
13 days ago

Unfortunately in an age of anti politician populism there is no chance that the voters are going to back an expansion in the next 10 years. In my humble opinion I think it would be for the best to delay this plan for the time being. The expansion is going to give those on the right and far-right a very popular attack line that could well revive their fortunes. Those who say that the public are going to come on board with this plan are living in a fantasy land.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
12 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

A delay will not help this country, but the two main pro-Wales parties have certainly been complacent in not putting forward the reasons why an increase in MS’s is a worthwhile move. They should have accounted for the fact that the Welsh electorate is uninformed about much of Welsh politics, partly because of a paucity of Welsh media and partly through the overwhelming presence of London-based media; it seems a travesty that a man in Stoke-on-Trent with little knowledge of Cymru has more effective access to the oxygen of publicity than the elected government of Wales.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
13 days ago

Archetypal Tory – knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing!

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