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Tory pledge not to increase number of Senedd members ‘exposes devo-scepticism’

06 Apr 2021 3 minute read
Senedd Members discuss the changes

The Tory pledge not to increase the number of Members of the Senedd is “yet another example” of “devo-scepticism”, according to Plaid Cymru.

A spokesperson for the party said the Tories are “not content with cutting the number of Welsh MPs and clawing back our powers”.

The comments follow Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd, saying his party won’t increase the size of the parliament, ahead of May’s election.

He says that proposals to create 30 more politicians in the Welsh Parliament would cost the taxpayer more than £12 million a year.

Plaid have also said that they want to implement a “fairer voting system” in the form of Single Transferable Vote (STV).

It is a more proportional system that is used widely around the world, and if it were implemented it would mean that more of the votes that are cast would have an impact on the outcome of the election.

Responding to the pledge from the Tories that they will not increase the number of Senedd members, a Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “This is yet another example of the devo-scepticism of the new Tory leader whose party – not content with cutting the number of Welsh MPs and clawing back our powers – now wants to silence the voice of the people of Wales.

“Only Plaid Cymru will deliver the democratic representation Wales deserves – and needs. That means urgently demanding more powers to a larger Senedd, implementing a fairer voting system in the form of STV and a referendum which allows us put Wales’s future in Wales’s hands.”

‘More politicians’ 

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “What Wales needs now is more nurses, doctors and teachers – not more politicians.

“The priority for any party should be getting Wales on the road to recovery with a stronger economy and rebuilding our public services, not increasing the size of the Senedd.

“The Welsh Conservatives have one focus: fixing Wales’ broken economy so that we can create more jobs and help fund our vital public services.

“We would use that money to fund more nurses so that we can bring down the waiting times in our NHS, and recruit more teachers so we can improve our education system and give children across Wales the best start in life.

“Labour and Plaid should be up front and honest in their respective manifestos about their intentions as the Welsh Conservatives have been clear that there’ll be no more powers, no more politicians, no more taxes, and no more constitutional chaos.

“Just a sole focus on building a better Wales and delivering a stronger economy.”

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