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Senedd should return to four year terms now that Fixed-term Parliaments Act is scrapped says former Labour MP

29 Mar 2022 2 minute read
First Minister Mark Drakeford speaking in the Senedd

The Welsh parliament should return to four year terms now that the UK’s Fixed-term Parliaments Act has been scrapped, according to a former Labour MP.

The Senedd shifted to five year terms in 2011 in order to avoid regularly clashing with Westminster General Elections after the 2010 Conservative and Liberal Democrat government introduced the act.

The Fixed-term Parliament Act was designed to ensure that Westminster elections happened every five years rather than at the Prime Minister’s whim, but since 2015 two General Elections have taken place with the backing of two-thirds of the House of Commons.

Writing in the Telegraph, former Labour MP Tom Harris said that both the Senedd and Holyrood should now return to the four-year terms that were set out when power was originally devolved.

The former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport said that the original change had been made “without even a hint of democratic approval”.

“So the question arises: now that the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the piece of unnecessary legislation that caused all this nonsense in the first place, is no longer with us, will Holyrood and Cardiff now return to the spirit and the wording of the original Acts that set them up, and resort to four-year terms?” he asked.

However, he suggested that the government’s desire to avoid elections meant that “I think we all know the answer to that one, don’t we?”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has also previously called for a return to four-year terms.

Blaenau Gwent’s Labour Senedd Member Alun Davies has said that the Welsh parliament should revert to the previous schedule.

“This means that our Senedd can return to four year terms,” he said last year. “This is a reform I will be proposing as soon as possible.”

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Steve George
Steve George
2 years ago

I’m a huge supporter of the Senedd but five year terms are bloated and unnecessary. The Senedd should move back to four year terms as soon as possible. My only caveat would be that, on a two thirds majority vote, the Senedd should be able to extend its term by up to 6 months to avoid a clash with a Westminster election.

2 years ago

I agree, five years is too long. I’m not happy with returning to the days where the Prime Minister has the power to call an election whenever he sees fit.
I would keep fixed term parliaments (both with the Senedd and Westminster), but the maximum term should be four years not five.

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 vote Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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