Welsh Parliament to allow some members back into the chamber
The Senedd building will allow some members back into the main chamber before the end of term.
The Presiding Officer, Elin Jones MS, and the Senedd’s Business Committee have agreed to move to a ‘hybrid’ model for plenary meetings.
Some Senedd Members, including the Conservative Andrew RT Davies, had been vocal about the need to allow members back into the physical chamber.
Last week Welsh National Party member Neil McEvoy was thrown out of plenary after attempting to join from within the Senedd itself.
The ‘hybrid Senedd’ would allow some Members to be present in the Siambr whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines, and other Members could continue to contribute virtually from home.
The intention is to use the hybrid model for the last two plenary sessions of the term on July 8 and 15.
Senedd Members have already voted to introduce remote electronic voting to enable each member to vote from their home. This would replace the current process where representatives vote on behalf of their political groups and Independent Members vote themselves.
“We have led the way in being able to maintain all core aspects of the Senedd’s work – plenary and committees, and this has proved highly effective so far,” the Presiding Officer of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS said.
“We have tested the practicality of the hybrid Senedd and feel that it is timely for us to move to this model. The hybrid Senedd will adhere to social distancing guidelines as long as they are in place whilst enabling all Members to take part either virtually or in person.
“Allowing every Member to vote remotely is also an important step to ensure that no one is disadvantaged should they not be present in the Chamber.
“This is the next natural step in terms of ensuring that the Senedd can continue its Business safely and effectively, and I look forward to seeing the hybrid model at work.”