Mark Drakeford and Adam Price Senedd reform proposals ‘like a dictatorship’ says Welsh Tory leader
First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price presented their Senedd reform proposals “like a dictatorship,” the Welsh Conservative leader has said.
Andrew RT Davies said that the way the proposals, which will now go to a cross-party committee, were formulated was “not democracy”.
His comments come after the First Minister and leader of Plaid Cymru, in a joint statement last week, announced plans for all members to be elected through proportional representation, making Wales the first country in Britain to abolish the First Past the Post system at a parliamentary level.
But speaking on Politics Wales, Andrew RT Davies said: “There is no coherence at all in the argument that the Welsh Government and the nationalists are making.
“And you will see that coherence is lacking by the way they came out at the last minute with a joint statement and said: ‘This is what you’re having.’
“And like a dictatorship, telling us what we’re having as such, rather than trying to discuss it and formulate a joint response.
“They slapped it on the table and said, that’s what’s happening. That’s not democracy, that’s just pork-barrel politics.”
His comments come after Monmouth MP David TC Davies used his speech at the Welsh Conservative conference to say that reforming the Senedd’s voting system will “lock in a Labour government forever”.
said that the Welsh Conservatives would “”fight against Welsh government plans to try and lock in a Labour government forever by removing local representation and fiddling with the voting system”.
“By creating huge constituencies and using close PR [proportional representation] lists they’re going to remove the local accountability, which was supposed to be one of the advantages of having a Senedd, and concentrate power in the hands of a few party managers,” he said.
“The simple fact that they kept these plans a secret until the day after the local council elections tells us all we need to know.”
In last week’s statement, Mark Drakeford and Adam Price said they wanted reform to be implemented in time for the next election in 2026, even if some of the changes are introduced on an interim basis.
- The Senedd should have 96 Members.
- It should be elected using closed proportional lists with integrated statutory gender quotas and mandatory zipping. Seats should be allocated to parties using the D’Hondt formula.
- The 2026 Senedd election should use the final 32 UK Parliament constituencies proposed by the Boundary Commission for Wales once it has concluded its 2023 Parliamentary Review.
- These constituencies should be paired to create 16 Senedd constituencies. Each constituency should elect six Members.
- A full boundary review should be instigated in this Senedd term and its recommendations should take effect from the subsequent Senedd election.
Mr Drakeford said: “The case for Senedd reform has been made. We now need to get on with the hard work to create a modern Senedd, which reflects the Wales we live in today. A Parliament that truly works for Wales.
“The joint position statement we are publishing today will help support the important work of the cross-party Special Purpose Committee to move Senedd reform forwards.”
Mr Price added. “These reforms will lay the foundations for a stronger Welsh democracy and a fairer, more representative Senedd that will look entirely different to the outdated political system at Westminster.
“A stronger, more diverse, more representative Senedd will have a greater capacity to perform its primary purpose of making a positive difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”
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