Senedd to be recalled by the Llywydd tomorrow for statement by First Minister
The Senedd will be recalled by the Llywydd tomorrow for a statement by the First Minister Mark Drakeford, it has been confirmed.
The move by Elin Jones MS comes amid an anticipated surge of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which has led the Welsh Government to impose tighter restrictions.
It has announced that sporting events will be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day in Wales to help control the spread of the new fast-spreading variant.
The move prompted the Leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies to write to the Llywydd to recall the Senedd so that it could vote on the restrictions.
Boris Johnson has said today that the UK Government will not be imposing tighter restrictions in England before Christmas.
The Llywydd said: “In accordance with Standing Order 12.3A, I have agreed to summon the Senedd to consider a matter of urgent public importance. The Senedd will be recalled for a fully virtual Ministerial statement at 13:30 tomorrow (22 December, 2021). Further information, including the agenda, will follow in due course.”
In his letter to the Llywydd, Andrew RT Davies said: “Following the announcement last night from the Welsh Government on further restrictions due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19, I am urging you to recall the Senedd under Standing Order 34.9 as this is a matter of urgent public importance related to public health matters”
“As a firm believer in the sovereignty of Parliament and its Members, it is not right that journalists and press outlets received Welsh Government press releases regarding further restrictions and yet, at the time of writing to you. Members of the Welsh Parliament have not even received a written statement from the Health Minister.
“It is clear that the Welsh Government is planning a rolling programme of changes to the Covid-19 regulations over the Christrmas and New Year period, and it is essential that these changes are debated and voted in on the Senedd beforehand. especially with the impact on people’s lives in Wales.”
‘Spectator Sports Fund’
A £3m Spectator Sports Fund will be available to support clubs and sporting venues affected by the new measures to protect public health. Further details about the fund will be available following discussions with the sector.
The Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections.
“We need to do everything we can to protect people’s health and control the spread of this awful virus.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear – we need to act now in response to the threat of omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can.
“Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports.”