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Tories oppose expanding the Senedd while ‘appointing more to the House of Lords’ says Drakeford

07 Jun 2022 4 minute read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by Ben Birchall / PA Wire

The Conservatives are opposing the expansion of the Senedd by 39 members while adding the same number of new peers to the House of Lords every few months, the First Minister has said.

The Conservative Senedd group today said they wanted a referendum on expanding the Senedd, as suggested by Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.

But Mark Drakeford accused the Conservatives of complaining about expansion of the Senedd on one hand while increasing the number of peers in the House of Lords on the other.

“Every nine months, the Prime Minister appoints more people to the House of Lords than we propose adding to the membership of the Senedd—every nine months. Where’s the referendum on that, I wonder?” he asked.

Boris Johnson has appointed 79 new peers since becoming Prime Minister in 2019.

‘Stuff’

The First Minister was responding to a question by Clwyd West Conservative Senedd Member Darren Millar who asked for a referendum.

“Now, when such significant changes to voting systems have been presented in the past, they have been put to the public vote, for the public to have a say via a referendum,” he said.

“Back in 2011, when there was a proposal to scrap the first-past-the-post system for Westminster elections, quite rightly, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, put that decision into the hands of the public via a referendum.

“Given that there was no specific mention of an increase in Members of the Senedd in your party’s manifesto for the last Senedd election, do you accept that there is a need for the public to have a direct say on the package of proposals that is being put forward before this Senedd and will be debated tomorrow?”

Blaenau Gwent Labour Senedd Member Alun Davies responded said that they simply did not want to see the Welsh parliament strengthened.

“The reality is they stuff the House of Lords, as they have already today, with unelected peers. They put them straight in the UK Government without any democratic accountability,” he said.

“And they come here seeking a referendum, not because they believe it—and I don’t believe any of them believe the nonsense they talk on these matters—but because they simply don’t like Welsh democracy.”

‘Foundation’

In their statement on Senedd reform, 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.

They stated:

  • 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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Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
5 months ago

The Conservative seneddwyr want a referendum on Wales increasing the number in the Senedd but they did not offer Wales a referendum when decreasing the number of MPs representing Wales at Westminster. It appears they want Wales to have a small voice. Wel dan ni yma o hyd a dan ni’n hawlio llais cryf!

Paul
Paul
5 months ago

Conservatives 2016 – we will cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600. Without a referendum.
Conservatives 2020 – we will cancel the cut in the number of MPs, without a referendum.
Conservatives 2021 – we will change the voting system for London Mayor to FPTP without a referendum.
Conservatives 2022 – you can’t change the number of politicians or how they are elected without a referendum.

And every new year and birthday honours list they stuff the Lords with national security risks and party donors.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Tories are hypocrites everywhere….. In Wales they are also Quislings.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

I think tarring any party with a single brush may be a touch too simple. Each party is a wide church offering a range of representative or unrepresentstive views.

Ianto Ffrainc
Ianto Ffrainc
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

No. They voted en masse as an entity to approve of fraud, corruption, lawbreaking and lying, so long as it is by their own. There may have been dissenters but by majority vote, the Conservative Party is the official party of lawbreaking by themselves. Wide church or not, that church has proven itself by a 2/3 majority to be in favour of making themselves unaccountable to the law

arthur owen
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Why do attempt to appear reasonable on this site?Much more of this and you will be blocked.

Arwyn
Arwyn
5 months ago

Yes, we all know the Tories are hypocrites. They’re playing to their gallery, the noisy right-wing Brit-nat minority in Wales. It won’t win them any elections. It just gets up our noses which gives them a little kick.

The real issue here is that the party lists system is deeply flawed. It means that we the electorate will not be able to remove individual MS’s at the ballot box. This I do not like. So it’s STV for me. How this can be achieved I’m not sure but I will be writing to my MS.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

People need to understand Johnson’s dilemma. His party in parliament is so rammed full of idiots and nonentities he has to create peers to fill vacancies.

Ianto Ffrainc
Ianto Ffrainc
5 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

A self-caused dilemma when he forced out so many talented and honourable Tories who would not “kiss the ring” about Brexit.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

When you think the Tory’s can sink no lower, they find a way to demonstrate the hypocrisy of their very existence. Dont do as I do, do as I say. Oppose everything in Cymru, that you propose and support in England. Guttersnipes every last one of them, and it comes from the top.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

The crooked Conservatives hostility towards the expansion of the Senedd is not down to cost, as if this were the case they’d all resign having lost nearly £200 billion of tax payers money with their failed Covid app, furlough fraud and unusable PPE supplies since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020, and that’s not counting hundreds of billions more wasted by this untrustworthy idiocracy led by the Benny Hill of Brexit Boris Johnson. But we all know the real reason why the Conservatives oppose any Senedd expansion from 60 to 96 members. It’s because they fear Wales is… Read more »

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

A referendum certainly if it contains a second question on tbe need to save the cost of a Welsh Secretary plus Deputy plus London Colonial Department which could then be merged into the Welsh Gvt.

Ianto Ffrainc
Ianto Ffrainc
5 months ago

It should not be a surprise to us that along with the fraud, corruption and lawbreaking by the Conservative party which the Conservative party has completely and officially signalled its approval for, should it be a surprise to us that Conservatives are also shameless hypocrites?
Conservatives out of Cymru. Every last one of them.

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago

I read it here before. “Tory” is English for “Toaridhe”, which is an Irish word meaning liar, thief, brigand, that the Conservatives arrogantly wear as a badge of pride. Never has that label been more appropriate than under the current crop of crooks. England will never end their love affair with the party that robs them blind and blames them for it. But Cymru seems to be paying attention at last and whilst Mark Drakeford represents a Unionist party, he is particularly good at highlighting the differences between Welsh Labour and the Conservatives both In Wales, and In The Empire… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

Just get on with it. They have no mandate to overrule anything here.

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