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Welsh Gov’s new Constitutional Commission ‘full of separatists’ who will ‘push indy by the back door’ claims Tory MS

17 Nov 2021 5 minutes Read
James Evans MS speaking in the Senedd. Picture by Senedd TV.

The Welsh Government’s new Constitutional Commission is “full of separatists” who would bring in “independence via the back door” according to a Conservative Senedd member.

It was announced yesterday that former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood would be part of the commission. It also includes former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams and Lauren McEvatt, a former Conservative UK Government special adviser to the Wales Office.

However, Brecon & Radnorshire Senedd Member James Evans dismissed the commission, saying that he already knew what the outcome of its deliberations would be.

“This new commission is packed with separatists and those who would tear apart our United Kingdom,” he said.

“It appears, the outcome is pre-determined. With many of the same old names, pushing their same old tired agenda. This is independence via the back door.”

Last month, Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams were confirmed as the co-chairs of the commission, which was one of the key promises of Labour’s Senedd manifesto.

Professor McAllister has said that all options would be in the table – including independence. She said they would be thinking “boldly and radically about all potential options for the future of Wales, in the context of the increasing pressure on the Union.”

Mick Antoniw, the Welsh Government’s Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, said: “Each commissioner brings with them different strengths, knowledge, experience and perspectives. They are drawn from across Wales, across the UK, and further afield and from across the political spectrum.

“Collectively, the commissioners combine the academic rigour and the alternative perspectives the commission will need to think creatively and radically about Wales’ future.

“I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to engage with the commission and join the national conversation about our constitutional future.”

‘Reassuring’

The commissioners, who will be working with the co-chairs, are:

  • Dr Anwen Elias, a Reader in Politics at Aberystwyth University. Her research interests include comparative territorial and constitutional politics, political parties and deliberative democracy. She is co-director of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Data and Research.
  • Miguela Gonzalez, a diversity and inclusion practitioner and a former journalist. She worked for the BBC for 15 years, most recently as the diversity and inclusion lead for the nations. She currently works for life science firm Abcam, where she is working to build an open and inclusive culture. Miguela has worked with the Welsh Government on the implementation of the Culture Connect Cymru project and has also been a visiting lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture.
  • Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London and Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity. Professor Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for over 40 years. He chaired the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, several WHO Regional Commissions, and reviews on tacking health inequality for governments in the UK.
  • Lauren McEvatt, a former Conservative UK Government special adviser to the Wales Office, during the coalition administration, when she worked on the Silk Commission and the Wales Act 2014. She has subsequently worked for several governments across East Africa and the Caribbean, on constitutional reform, trade and investment.
  • Albert Owen, the former Labour MP for Ynys Mon from 2001 to 2019. During his time in Parliament he was a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Welsh Affairs Select Committee and the International Development Committee.
  • Philip Rycroft, who was a civil servant for 30 years. He worked at a senior level for the devolved government in Scotland before moving to the Cabinet Office in London where he led civil service work for the UK Government on the constitution and devolution. His last posting was as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU.
  • Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC’s first BME General Secretary. Shavanah is a passionate campaigner and can often be found contributing speeches at round table debates and protest marches on issues such as anti-racism, just transition, climate change, human rights, women’s rights, fair pay and fair work.
  • Kirsty Williams, a former Member of the Senedd and Minister for Education in the Welsh Government during the Fifth Senedd. She became the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in December 2008 and, at the time, she was the first female leader of a Welsh political party in the Senedd.
  • Leanne Wood, a former Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda and former Leader of Plaid Cymru. She was the first female leader of her party, and has a longstanding commitment to issues of social justice.

Commenting on the appointments, current Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “I am delighted to see such a range of well-respected and extremely qualified individuals appointed to this panel. All of those appointed will bring a range of valid views and have my utmost confidence to lead the conversation on our constitutional future.

“Our democracy in Wales continues to evolve and the need for this Commission has never been clearer. Changing attitudes within the Welsh population have shown continuous growth in those who wish to see more powers lie within Wales.

“It is reassuring to see some strong liberal voices on this panel that I know will argue for the fairest settlement for Wales and we continue on the next step of our democratic story.”

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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
10 days ago

‘Independence via the back door’ – If only that were true 😉. One plaid representative (leanne wood) on a 11 person commission hardly constitutes indy via the back door. Course there was a time – when nick bourne was welsh tory leader – when conservatives in Wales engaged constructively in discussions about Wales’ constitutional future and even supported enhancing the powers of the senedd. Now their senedd group is full of people who’d abolish our parliament and return Wales to the dark days of direct rule by the likes of John Redwood 😱. The welsh conservative party should be renamed… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
10 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

I suggest “The Conservative and Unionist Party in Wales”.
That’s exactly what it is, nothing remotely Welsh about it apart from its geographical location.

Arwyn
Arwyn
10 days ago

The Tory party is full of radical British Nationalists who don’t consider Wales to be a nation and actively seek to undermine our democracy. Oh, and they’ve never won a national election in Wales in the history of the democratic franchise. Time to get out of Dodge city folks!

Last edited 10 days ago by Arwyn
Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
9 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Nah Independence is for white bigoted former public sector retirees and kids and students who wouldn’t last five minutes down a mine.

23% and decreasing.

Richard
Richard
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

I guess not many of us would last 5 mins down a mine. ?

Perhaps 🤔 Paul might share his experiences of mine work ?

My grandfather went down the Pit at 15 to run the ponies – prior to going off to the Western Front at 17 and emigrating to Australia 🇦🇺 at 21 – with the Mine Owners closing most down when War needs had gone and their profits were made.

Dafydd
Dafydd
10 days ago

James – the current system is absolutely dire and is basically rule from afar by a clique of wealthy (some corrupt) polititicians who demonstrably couldn’t give a stuff for Wales.

We’ve had centuries of this for goodness sake and are still poor…… so tell me ,,, why is the idea of indepedendence so wrong?

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
10 days ago
Reply to  Dafydd

James Evans is afraid that he will be unable to refute this commission’s findings, so he’s attacking it before it publishes anything.

His “back door” allegation is especially silly because the commission has no executive powers. The commission’s task is to identify arguments for AND against independence, and to collate the evidence for both.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 days ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

Tory Thinkpol ban thought entirely.

David
David
10 days ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

James Evans has NO arguments for the benefits of the Union.

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
9 days ago
Reply to  David

He managed 10,000 more votes than the Plaid Cymru candidate?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

I do wish the people who support the Union started showing us all the benefits rather than just relying on recent polling or empty political rhetoric. This sort of cocky – you’ll never get enough support – attitude will eventually back fire on you.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
10 days ago

Is that all James Evans has, ‘separatists ’ – bless. Imagine being a national level politician and not wanting the best for his own country, I could not live with the shame or guilt. Wales must be unique in this now. Is this what it was like for Estonia, etc., before they were able to follow their own path? These treacherous Tories have torn us away from Europe, THEY ARE THE SEPARATISTS! We are Welsh (or chose to live in Wales, croeso/welcome!), we must endeavour to separate from these quisling Tories ASAP!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 days ago

English toffs (including the Welsh bradwr kissing their feet) are terrified of losing their cash cow. What kind of politician defends the interests of a foreign country over their own? Absolute backstabbing judases.

Grayham Jones
10 days ago

Yes it’s time for change in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 get the people in your town’s out voting for new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
9 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Nation.Cymru’s most prolific poster everyone

Gareth
Gareth
10 days ago

This group has been formed to try and find a path to secure our country a better future, the problem we have is, that the Tory party want to maintain the status quo, where there is money to be made from the system as it now stands. Huge sums of money donated to Tory’s in Wales from London donors, with links to Russia and Putin, consultancies for the likes of A Cairns, and huge Gov cash paid to friends and family through Gov contracts given, not awarded on merit, for things like PPE etc. This man and his ilk, have… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 days ago

So Lauren McEwatt, Kirsty Williams, Albert Owen are seperatists now are they?

How about other members of his own party Murdo Fraser or David Melding? Or anyone who opposes the current UK government’s stance on the devolution for that matter.

Wales has the weakest level of devolution, yet when even the most unionist of politicians will stand up for Wales they will get shouted down as being a separatist.

This is deeply irresponsible rhetoric, and you only have to look at the history of Northern Ireland as to where it could lead to.

hdavies15
hdavies15
10 days ago

Man is a bit of an ass. Full of separatists ? … more like full of people not likely to rock any boats !. Too much of a stake in the present system. So James bach go back to sleep or suck on your dummy, no more nightmares just yet.

Paul
Paul
10 days ago

I can only hope that his assertion is true. Sooner the better.

Aled Rees
Aled Rees
10 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Hear.hear.I for one will take indy by any door,front,side or back

Sion Cwilt
Sion Cwilt
10 days ago

This guy is just proving to us that he’s a bit of a plonker. The only thing that’s really promoting ideas of separatism is Tory policy on just about everything.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
9 days ago

No, we are not going to gain independence via the back door – it will be gained through the front door and we won’t be taking the ‘Welsh’ Conservatives with us!

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

23% in favour at the last poll was if?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

No it was actually over 30%. However, I wouldn’t gloat if I were you – amongst our youth the figure is much higher and that includes within the Labour party too. And you know what that means – our future will be as an independent nation, whether you like it or not.

Sian
Sian
6 days ago

He should recognise that it’s really important for this discussion to take place and he’d be better off engaging with the commission and hearing what comes through. There are a lot if indy curious out there who would like to have the clear pros and cons assessed and discussed openly so that they can make an informed choice about our future as a nation.

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