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Watch: Senedd Member launches scathing attack on Tory ‘hypocrisy’ over calls for referendum

08 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read

A Senedd Member has launched a scathing rebuttal to Tory criticism of Senedd reform, saying that their “hypocrisy absolutely turns my stomach”.

Plaid Cymru member Llŷr Gruffydd was responding to calls by Conservative Senedd Members for a referendum on expanding the Senedd.

Conservative Senedd Member James Evans said that every major constitutional change to the Senedd had been done via a public vote, “and the people have a right to have their say on these changes”.

But Llŷr Gruffydd responded that he was “saddened and quite sickened” by what he called the “fake anger” from the Conservative benches.

“Those very same politicians don’t bat an eyelid when the British Prime Minister wholesomely swells the ranks of the House of Lords,” he said. “No calls for a referendum there, of course.

“They’re unelected and, of course, many of them are appointed against the recommendation and advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

“Well, who was on about jobs for the boys five minutes ago? Who’s been on about backroom deals and dark corridors?

“And when it comes to cost, we know that the House of Lords costs taxpayers £15 million a year in daily allowances alone. ‘How many doctors and nurses is that?’ I don’t hear you say.

“You know, the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster is going to be in the billions—some figures up to £18 billion. Eighteen billion pounds. That’s eighteen thousand million pounds. And you’re not bothered by that.

“But yet, when we talk about strengthening Welsh democracy, ‘Oh, no. No, no, no. We can’t have that, it costs too much. We need a referendum.’

“Come on. Your hypocrisy absolutely turns my stomach.”

‘Undermined’

40 eventually voted for the Senedd reform, with 14 voting against it.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds voted for the motion, despite being critical of some aspects of the reforms and calling them a “stitch-up” between Plaid Cymru and Labour.

She was a member of the committee discussing Senedd reform and said that a surprise announcement between First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price had overridden their discussions.

“The morning the committee was due to meet, I was very sad and disappointed that a press release was made with a totally new proposal on preferred boundaries that had never been discussed before, and, it seemed, the proposed and agreed voting system,” she said.

“This really undermined the cross-party work that I happen to hold very dear and which, to that date, I felt very privileged to be part of.

“The surprise announcement by Plaid Cymru and Labour did the committee a disservice. It prejudged the debate here today and the legislative process that will follow.

“It looks like a stitch-up and it feels like a stitch-up. To make an announcement before the committee published its report, and to favour proposals so different from what the evidence tells us, was a very disappointing approach.”


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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
21 days ago

If there was to be a referendum you can be sure the Tories would start to spin the lies again, just as they did during the Brexit and Alternative vote referendums. Don’t trust this party it does not have the wellbeing of Cymru at heart.

Paul
Paul
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Also the increase in the number of MSs is a direct result of the 2011 referendum. The 2011 referendum gave Wales full parliamentary powers (once Westminster passed the law in 2017 and it came into effect 2020). Now the number of MSs needs to increase to use the new powers effectively. After all the Assembly was so small because they had very few responsibilities.

Cedric Wyn Carruthers
Cedric Wyn Carruthers
19 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

England needs to leave from the UK. Oh how that would be great.

Richard
Richard
21 days ago

The Libs plus Greens need to
be and feel included in this positve step plus the many indepemdent councillors who helped deliver the pro Wales votes over the years.

Wales needs to keep its role as an
inclusive and respectful nation that engages, listens and learns through involving.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
21 days ago
Reply to  Richard

hope that during the course of this legislation thru the Senedd that its agreed the more democratic and inclusive STV voting system is adopted for future senedd elections rather than the proposed d’hondt

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
21 days ago

Check out the following calculation:
Sqrt(3.1/5.5)×129 = 97
97 is as near as dammit to 96 so the next Senedd will have just the right number of representatives as compared with Scotland. It is inconsistent of the Tories to oppose expanding the Senedd to 96 unless they also advocate reducing Holyrood from 129, about which I have heard not a squeak.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
21 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

Well there was a squeak in 2003 when the Scottish Tories advocated a reduction from 129 to 108. Are the Welsh Tories merely 19 years behind their Scottish counterparts, who have long since changed their tune?

Crempog oer
Crempog oer
21 days ago

What’s that I hear? Yougov being suppressed (5 years ago before the EU referendum) by conservative benefactors when a vote doesn’t go their way? Conservatives have absolutely no integrity, they are parasitic invaders who will devour their own kind in order to progress their cold-hearted beliefs, this is why I don’t blame (all) voters who vote for them, as they are incredibly good at deflecting their wrong-doings by compartmentalising scandals with spin doctory which absolutely scatters the voter’s thinking process, they’ll then pretend the next year will be a wiped slate and the promises they distribute through a closing down… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
21 days ago

The Tory’s are just a bunch of liars and cheats. They only respect democracy when the vote goes their way. When we voted for devolution, they lost and the following Tory manifesto said it would stop devo, a Blair victory gave us devo at the next Gen Elec. They said if remain won by a small margin in the Brexit vote, it would be “unfinished business” and they would go for vote No2, they won by 51/49 so all was ok .Hypocrites, liars and cheats.

Ken covack
Ken covack
21 days ago

Typical Tory Trait, the three Tees, they give you a sample so small you can’t use it as designed, then when you ask for more, they decide you don’t need that, in this case, more Senedd members and Senedd powers, all because they (tories) appear to have sick tory ideals, of giving you something, that you and your nation thirst for, democracy and independence, with one hand, then take it all away from you altogether or create a sticking plaster, while they lavish themselves with all the toys, bells and whistles ever created, usually funded by the claim of “it… Read more »

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