Tory MS claims there’s ‘no mandate’ for Wales having more ‘significant’ powers
A Tory Senedd member has claimed there’s “no mandate” for Wales having more “significant” powers.
Darren Millar, who represents Clwyd West, made the claim despite Labour, which won 30 out of 60 seats at the Senedd election, having further devolution in its manifesto, and Plaid Cymru, which won 13, campaigning for independence.
The Conservative Party, which campaigned against further devolution, won 16 seats at the election.
But according to Millar the proposal to devolve more powers to Wales was “overwhelmingly rejected” by Welsh voters.
In debate in the Welsh Parliament, Plaid Cymru called on the Welsh Government to start the process outlined in the Government of Wales Act 2006 to bring powers to Wales over matters currently reserved to Westminster.
These include policing and justice, rail, welfare, broadcasting, energy projects, the Crown Estate, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the power for the Senedd to call a binding referendum on Wales’s constitutional future.
Darren Millar said: “Dirprwy Lywydd, Plaid Cymru had the opportunity to use their first opposition debate in the Senedd to look at a whole range of issues that are of critical importance to the people of Wales, but instead of choosing to focus on those other important issues like our health service, our schools, our economy, they have decided instead to start the new parliamentary term with a proposal that was overwhelmingly rejected at the recent Senedd elections.
“An election in which Plaid Cymru put to the people of Wales a pitch for more powers and another referendum with more constitutional chaos, and yet a referendum in which their share of the vote, unlike our share of the vote, went down.
He added: “They went backwards. They lost ground. They didn’t gain any ground as a result of that particular message that they put forward to the people of Wales, and that’s because constitutional navel-gazing and constitutional chaos were rejected by the people of Wales on 6 May.
“And because of that, we must take this opportunity this afternoon in this Chamber to also reject this sort of power play as well.
“That’s why we make it absolutely clear in our amendment that we believe that there is no mandate whatsoever for the further devolution of significant powers to this Senedd.
“In contrast to the Plaid spokesperson, we believe that the pandemic and Brexit demonstrate very clearly why we don’t need those extra powers because, Dirprwy Lywydd, the greatest tool that we have to rebuild a better Wales is the fact that Wales is an integral part of the United Kingdom.
“We only need to look at the past 18 months during the pandemic to see how Wales benefits from the current devolution settlement.
“We’ve had UK armed forced personnel that have been administering vaccines, that have driven ambulances across the length and breadth of Wales, when the NHS needed that extra support and faced that pressure.
“They’ve also flown in personal protective equipment from places such as the far east into the United Kingdom, when our NHS was on its knees and needed that support the most.”