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Nick Powell

Nick Powell has written 77 posts for ITV Wales blog

Simon Thomas quits Plaid leadership race

Simon Thomas has pulled out of the contest to become the next leader of Plaid Cymru. He’s conceded that as someone who has been in the Assembly for less than a year he had “a lot of ground to cover and make up.” His previous experience as an MP was of course double-edged, given that … Continue reading

The first ITV Wales/YouGov Poll in 2012

Since before Christmas, Carwyn Jones has been warning about the dangers he sees in Scottish Independence. The First Minister says it would be bad for Scotland but also bad for Wales. He argues that urgent constitutional reform would be needed to protect Wales’s position. The latest YouGov poll for ITV Wales takes a look at … Continue reading

The New Parliamentary Map

The proposed new 30 Westminster constituencies have been published by the Boundary Commission for Wales. The Commissioners had limited room for manoeuvre as legislation cutting the size of the House of Commons meant that the existing 40 seats had to go, replaced by 30 constituencies with between 72,810 and 80,473 voters. It’s been a brutal business. … Continue reading

How the UK would end

by Nick Powell There’s more than one way of looking at Carwyn Jones’s letter to David Cameron yesterday. A close relationship with the European Union has been part of devolution’s DNA since the Assembly was set up. It is not surprising that the First Minister felt he should tell the Prime Minister that he feared the … Continue reading

Boundary Reviews: A Word of Warning

The Boundary Commission for Wales has just published a guide to how its review of parliamentary constituency boundaries will work. It’s an attempt to head off the chorus of complaints the commission knows will greet its recommendations due out in January. The Westminster coalition’s decision to ‘reduce and equalise’ the constituencies will cut the number … Continue reading

Soft consent could mean tough choices

The Welsh Government’s white paper on organ donation published today demonstrates a determination to switch Wales to a system of ‘presumed consent’, where only those who have registered an objection won’t be considered as potential organ donors when they die. The consultation is very much about how the new system should operate, not whether the … Continue reading

Olympic goodwill

The organisers of the London 2012 Olympic Games are hoping that today’s announcement of the torch relay route will finally persuade all parts of the United Kingdom that the games don’t just belong to their host city. It seems to be doing the trick. The torch will visit all 22 council areas in Wales and … Continue reading

Mapping the future of our councils

Two cabinet heavyweights are busy banging heads together in local government. The Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, is demanding co-operation and collaboration from directors of education for his new school banding scheme, which will identify which schools are doing better than others, with the intention of tackling the ones that are lagging behind. Meanwhile the Local … Continue reading

Plaid Cymru’s leader: On thin ice

Four years ago, Ieuan Wyn Jones arrived at the Plaid Cymru conference to cheers from a crowd of supporters outside Venue Cymru in Llandudno. He had led them into coalition government with Labour. Yesterday, the party gathered at the same location, where the only arrival to provoke any excitement was Jason Gardiner, the most acerbic … Continue reading

Mick Antoniw’s Warning Shot

A reasonable test for a properly functioning democracy might be whether its electoral system and political parties are capable both of delivering a government with a working majority and of creating the possibility of different parties forming that government. The belief by many in the Labour party that they should only form a coalition if … Continue reading

Sunshine, Motherhood and Apple Pie

Andrew RT Davies began his first full day in office as Leader of the Opposition with a visit to the Sharp factory in Wrexham. Having narrowly beaten Nick Ramsay, who was portrayed as the ‘modernising’ and Welshifying’ candidate, Mr Davies was determined to get the message out that he knows his way round Wales. He … Continue reading

Look Back with Candour

It seems a long time ago now but the Electoral Commission has just published its report on the referendum in March that resulted in the Assembly gaining new law making powers. It reveals that the referendum cost the taxpayer £5.89million. £1.4million came out of the Electoral Commission’s own budget and included the cost of a … Continue reading

AMs vote to reinstate Aled Roberts

AMs have just voted (at 3.40pm) to reinstate aled Roberts. There were 30 votes for, 20 against and three abstensions. There were four AMs not present, the Presiding Officer and her deputy do not vote and of course until that moment there was one vacancy.

The Lib Dem Two –only one left now.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have bowed to the inevitable and sacrificed John Dixon, one of the two Lib Dem AMs disqualified from the Assembly. All their efforts over the next 24 hours before the crucial vote in the Senedd will be to save Aled Roberts. Party leader Kirsty Wiliams has just issued this statement: “Tomorrow, … Continue reading

Decision Time for the Lib Dem Two

Assembly Members have been given the legal advice on which they are supposed to base their decision tomorrow on whether to reinstate the two disqualified Liberal Democrat AMs, Aled Roberts and John Dixon. In brief summary, the two reports confirm that Aled Roberts checked the rules but he was misled because he looked at the … Continue reading

Yes, Education Minister

‘Yes Prime Minister‘ is playing at the Wales Millennium Centre all this week, right next door to the Senedd. It’s based on the long-running television series in which the Minister (later Prime Minister) Jim Hacker would come up with an idea; his civil servants would then try to turn it into something workable, sparing the … Continue reading

Welsh local government: Fighting on all fronts

The war of words between the Welsh Government and UK ministers over windfarms, taxes and how much money Wales gets from the Treasury may yet look like a polite disagreement compared with the way the Local Government Minister, Carl Sargeant is upping the ante with the councils. Earlier this year, he took powers to reduce … Continue reading

Queen opens Senedd with Royal approval for legislature

Although he was barely visible at today’s Royal opening of the fourth National Assembly, the former Presiding Officer, Dafydd Elis Thomas must have felt a glow of pride at today’s ceremony. He’s always attached great importance to winning Royal approval for devolution, which has not always been apparent. At the first opening in 1999, the … Continue reading

Time’s running out for disqualified AMs

The National Assembly for Wales Commission has just issued a statement making it clear that the fate of the two disqualified Liberal Democrat AMs is about to be put in the hands of the returning officers. Once they decide to fill the vacancies caused by the disqualification of Aled Roberts and John Dixon the matter … Continue reading

A Fine Mess

UKIP MEP John Bufton may have just done Carwyn Jones a big favour. He’s complained to the police about Aled Roberts and John Dixon, the two Liberal Democrats who have been disqualified as Assembly members because they were members of quangos answerable to the Assembly at the time of their election. If the police decide … Continue reading

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