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Plaid Cymru MP blasts Michael Gove for failing to publish review into devolution

13 Jan 2021 3 minutes Read
Michael Gove. Picture by the Policy Exchange (CC BY 2.0).

A Plaid Cymru MP has blasted Michael Gove for failing to publish a review into devolution.

Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru’s Cabinet Office spokesperson said the Cabinet Office Minister was “leaving the door open to another power grab against Wales” by delaying publication of the Dunlop Review.

Mr Williams accused him of “stifling discussion” and said the review would “make difficult reading for the London-based elite”.

The Dunlop Review, commissioned in July 2019, was charged with examining devolution and recommending how the Union could be strengthened. It has not been published despite a clear commitment from the UK Government to do so by the end of 2020.

Former Scotland Office minister Lord Dunlop, who also advised David Cameron on issues of devolution, was tasked with the review.

Hywel Williams, MP said: “Like with the Russia report and the bullying inquest into his Home Secretary, the Prime Minister has delayed the publication of the Dunlop Review which no doubt will make difficult reading for the London-based elite.

“Stifling discussion about the dangers of the one-size-fits-all, highly centralised economic and political system of the UK shows that Westminster is leaving the door open to another power grab against Wales.

“Plaid Cymru has tabled written parliamentary questions probing the unacceptable delay, particularly given the Prime Minister’s bombast about strengthening the Union.

“As ever, Wales only matters to Westminster when there’s an election or a good press story for Number 10, rather than an uncomfortable discussion about the failings of this disunited Kingdom.”

 

‘Demand’ 

MPs on four Westminster committees have also united to demand action from Mr Gove.

Stephen Crabb MP, Welsh Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Simon Hoare MP, Chair Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, William Wragg MP Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, have said that it is “disappointing” that the report has not been published.

In a joint letter to Mr Gove they say: “As you know, our Committees have been awaiting the publication of Lord Dunlop’s Review and the Government’s response to it for some time. It was therefore disappointing to learn that, contrary to earlier commitments, these would not be published before the end of 2020.

“Before the Christmas recess, our Committees agreed to hold a joint evidence session on the Government’s implementation of Lord Dunlop’s Review and we are pleased that you confirmed to PACAC on 10 December that you would be willing to appear before our Committees to provide evidence on this important area of public interest.

“Prior to receiving your letter of 23 December, we had identified 28 January 2021 as the date for this joint evidence session. In order for this session to go ahead as planned, our Members will require both Lord Dunlop’s Review and the Government’s response to be made public by 14 January.

“We would be grateful if you could confirm that the Government will be publishing the Review and the response within this timeframe.

“If you are unable to do so, we ask that you set out a clear alternative timeframe for publication so that we can arrange our scrutiny accordingly.”

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