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Welsh Conservatives slam plans to reform the Senedd

10 May 2022 4 minutes Read
The Senedd. Picture by Senedd Cymru. Inset: Andrew RT Davies.

The Welsh Conservatives have slammed proposals announced today by Mark Drakeford and Adam Price which would see the Senedd expand to 96 members in time for the 2026 elections.

In a joint statement the First Minister and leader of Plaid Cymru also announced plans for all members to be elected through proportional representation, making Wales the first country in Britain to abolish the First Past the Post system at a parliamentary level.

Responding to the position statement published today, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies criticised the plans and claimed they would cost more than £75 million.

Pet project

He said said: “Wales does not need more politicians in Cardiff Bay – we need more teachers, doctors, dentists, and nurses.

“With residents across the country facing cost-of-living pressures, the last thing they need is to be footing the bill – expected to be more than £75 million over five years at least – for Labour and Plaid’s pet project.

“Ministers should be spending that money on tackling the big issues facing Wales, not wasting time and cash looking at upping the number of Senedd members.

“Now is the time to fix our broken NHS, get the economy fired up, and boost our education system, but sadly Labour and Plaid have got their priorities completely skewed.

“Whilst we have consistently objected to more politicians, we recognise Labour and Plaid have enough votes to push ahead and that’s why we have engaged constructively with the Senedd Reform Committee – but sadly it appears both parties have completely undermined the committee’s work with today’s announcement.”

Disappointing

Shadow Minister for the Constitution, Darren Millar MS, added: “It is disappointing that the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have sought to thwart the work of the Welsh Parliament’s Senedd Reform Committee by issuing this statement today.

“While the Welsh Conservatives have always been clear that we oppose plans to increase the number of politicians in Wales, we have accepted that there is a mandate for change and, for that reason, we have played a constructive role in the work of the Senedd Reform Committee to date.

“Today’s statement suggests that the Labour and Plaid leaders want to strongarm the committee and dictate its conclusions rather than to allow the committee to complete its independent work.

“We joined this process in good faith, but it looks like that was misplaced.”

In Tuesday’s statement, 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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Lebowski
Lebowski
12 days ago

Meathead

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
12 days ago

Cowards are scared that we aren’t goosestepping into line with their English masters.
Plus, this was in both parties manifestos. Are they fighting against democracy?

Last edited 12 days ago by GW Atkinson
Erisian
Erisian
12 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

When you say both, I assume the two that matter?

Gareth
Gareth
12 days ago

Well what a surprise, the Tory party in our country speak out against a move, most constitutional experts agree, should be made. Several independant papers written on the subject come out in favour of increased MS numbers at the Senedd. Staying true to form, farmer Davies is at odds with common sense thinking, and still living in his alternate reality. The “cost” he shouts, ignoring the billions wasted by his masters in London, as he spouts more gibberish.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
11 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Let’s be honest, the current system forces people to vote tactically and if given the chance to elect more representatives, the Labour and Plaid strongholds in the Valleys and the West of the country, are going to elect more Labour and Plaid representatives, probably across both regions. The Conservatives know that and realise that this will not benefit them, that’s why they are throwing their toys out of the pram.

Last edited 11 days ago by SundanceKid
Gareth
Gareth
11 days ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

I agree with you, but if the Tory party in Cymru were to make policies for and about our country, to benefit our people, then there must be center right thinkers who would vote for them. As far as I can see, today, they repeat, parrot fashion, Anglo centric policies and statements handed down from London, and even when given the chance to speak for us, remain silent, eg HS2.They get what they deserve.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
12 days ago

When it was announced recently that the cost of ‘refurbishing’ westminster would be a massive 22 billion pounds there wasnt a murmur of protest from the welsh conservatives. The tories are just wales hating hypocrites https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amp/entry/restoring-palace-westminster-could-cost-ps22-billion-bombshell-report-reveals_uk_62161cc5e4b06e1cc587dc10/

hdavies15
hdavies15
12 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

…and that is a most relevant point. Time after time we get announcements of billions being blown in all directions by the Waster in Chief and his minions in Westminster. Works in progress include HS2, Trident, arming Ukraine, funding highly profitable energy companies via investment grants as well as Green Levy, refurbs of antiquated public buildings in London etc . Boris has a long list of grandiose schemes which admittedly may not happen but these tame lapdog Tories in Wales fail to utter a word of dissent about those crazy schemes when they are mooted. I might disagree with the… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Indeed. And besides the £22 billion for Westminster refurbishment. £37 billion wasted with their failed Covid app. £16 billion lost to furlough fraud. The English Health Minister who wrote-off £13.4 billion NHS England provider debit with their financial reset. Conservative wastage of taxpayers money is immense.

Last edited 12 days ago by Y Cymro
Cynan
Cynan
12 days ago

“Welsh conservatives slam …” so what else is new? Trying to stay relevant?

Erisian
Erisian
12 days ago

Sour grapes – complaining about a club so few of them can aspire to join.
(8/60 and couldn’t be trying any harder)

They don’t have a whelks chance in a supernova of taking control so they sit on the sidelines (where they belong) and whinge.

And this from a man whose party has stuffed the second chamber with nere-do-wells whose only grace was contributing to Conservative and Unionist Party coffers.

Last edited 12 days ago by Erisian
John
John
12 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Mae hwn yn cloriannu’r sefyllfa yn berffaith.

Gareth
Gareth
12 days ago

The other thing I dislike about Davies complaining about money being spent on our democracy is, he held his hand out and took close to a £1 million from the EU in farm subsidies. It would seem spending of money is only wrong, when it is not going Into his bank account.

Paul
Paul
12 days ago

Whining English supremacist Wales hating whiner whines. Just another day at the Senedd.

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
12 days ago

Andrew R. T. Davies, dylech fod wedi dweud: “Wales does not need ANY politicians in Westminster – we need more visionaries, nation-builders, de-colonisers and patriots.”

Last edited 12 days ago by Glyn Jones
Meic Haines
Meic Haines
12 days ago

“Now is the time to fix our broken NHS….”

Ahem…. which bunch of austerity scumbags in Westminster broke it?

Iorwerth ap Wyllt
Iorwerth ap Wyllt
12 days ago

Tories are actually right, we shouldn’t be wasting our money on things that will not help the people that are struggling.

Like for instance we should throw a big party for their pet queenie McGold-Face, and print millions of royalist propaganda pamphlets and books to boost education, because when 2 million adults cannot afford to eat everyday they can just eat cake? Right?!

Iesu mawr! These people are out of touch with their own parties pet projects, let alone the state of the “United” Kingdom.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
12 days ago

The Consevatives obviously value putting Johnson’s corrupt cronies in the upper house of the Westminster parliament above having a Welsh parliament that is fit for purpose.

Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
11 days ago

Those six Ukrainian family members you invented for effect never turned up then, I see?

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
12 days ago

Surprise surprise from the anti-Welsh party

Quornby
Quornby
12 days ago

We need fewer tories.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

Ain’t that just the truth. A political wheat & Conservative chaff scenario. You gain with grain. Out with the blue in with the new.

Dewi Davies
Dewi Davies
12 days ago

The tories will only be happy when the Senedd is reformed-down to zero.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago

The best course of action regarding Andrew RT Davies is to stick your fingers in your ears and think of a happy place, say Welsh independence. The man’s a consummate bore. Sorry Andrew, it’s happening whether you like it or not. 😁🎉🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
12 days ago

Of course, if RT thought for one second this would help the tories in any way, he would be behind it 100%, what a pathetic little man he is.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
12 days ago

If Davies wants a better NHS, educational system and Welsh economy he should get his bosses in London to stop the neglect and start funding Cymru properly.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
12 days ago

When our Westminster MPs come home to sit in our newly expanded fit for purpose Independent Senedd (there won’t be many blue ones left by then) there will be plenty of vacated spaces on the benches at Westminster where RT and his friends can go and sit. I’m sure they’d be much happier there.

Llyn
Llyn
12 days ago

I fully accept the need for more MSs however I would caution that at a time of a cost of living crises and populist anti-politics this whole issue will have to be approached with a reasoned evidenced approach, which does not simply wave away voters concerns and must include a willingness to amend and delay implementation if necessary.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
12 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

I just heard District Commissioner Simon Hart say pretty much the same thing on the radio.

Llewz!
Llewz!
11 days ago

Tory tears are so satisfying! 😭🤣

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