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Politics

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Changing the political map of Wales

The Boundary Commission for Wales road show is now on its way round Wales. The idea is to explain to the public in detail, plans to change the Constituency Map of Wales. This gives voters a chance to air their own opinions about boundary changes and ask any questions they may have about the plans for the … Continue reading

Silk Commission – Plaid Cymru’s submission

Plaid Cymru has today published its submission to the Silk Commission. And its main call is for the transfer of responsibility over a number of important areas in order to give the Welsh Assembly and Welsh Government “the tools to strengthen the Welsh Economy” The Silk Commission has been receiving evidence to help it review … Continue reading

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

Cheryl Gillan criticises Carwyn Jones’ ‘isolationism’

The Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has written an article for the Conservative Home website attacking what she says is the iincreasing isolationism of the First Minister. Welsh Labour has responded fiercely. I’ll quote both in full. First here’s Cheryl Gillan’s article: Cheryl Gillan MP, Secretary of State for Wales, accuses Labour in Wales of taking … Continue reading

Old Masters’ Almanack for 2012

If 2011 can rightly claim to have been one of the busiest ever years in Welsh politics, 2012 is going to give it a good run for its money. Here, in no particular order, is my list of just some of what you can expect to crop up in January alone: New Parliamentary boundaries for … Continue reading

Office Politics

I won’t add to the reports of the latest spat between the Welsh Government and the Wales Office, this time over office space in London. The BBC has a full account of the row here. The Inside Out blog has some sympathy with the Welsh Government and makes some perceptive observations here while the Freedom Central … 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

Negotiating the Welsh Budget in public and in hindsight

At the time, the exchange in First Minister’s Questions between Carwyn Jones and Kirsty Williams less than a fortnight ago (November 15th) seemed to see the two leaders going through the usual FMQs motions. The only difference was that later that afternoon saw Labour’s draft budget defeated in a vote in the Assembly. In the … Continue reading

Assembly voting system: Conservatives join Labour (sort of)

If you’re reading this, you almost certainly know about the ongoing row over the possibility or otherwise of change in the way Assembly Members are elected and the controversy surrounding the position Welsh Labour’s taken on it. If you don’t you can read what I’ve said about it before here and here. Now Labour’s upping the … Continue reading

Welsh budget talks update

Just  a few points to update you with so far today. The Welsh Government met Plaid Cymru last night (Wednesday) following a similar meeting with the Liberal Democrats on Tuesday. There’s no official word on how the meeting went. A Welsh Government source would only say, We are not providing a running commentary on these … Continue reading

Talks Tuesday: Welsh Budget latest

I freely admit that I’m guilty of over-selling with the title of this blogpost, but I have to lure you in somehow. But it would be downright lying if I told you there was any kind of resolution to the deadlocked budget negotiations. At least that I know of. The truth is we don’t know … Continue reading

Assembly Voting System: Welsh Labour v. Electoral Reform Society

A furious row has erupted between Welsh Labour and the Electoral Reform Society, the latest in a series of disagreements over possible changes to the way Assembly Members are elected. The ERS says changes backed by Labour would ‘rob thousands of voters of a choice and vote’ and be ‘damaging for democracy and damaging for … Continue reading

Welsh Budget latest: Conservatives out in the cold

The Welsh Government has ruled out doing a budget deal with the Conservatives and will from now on only talk to Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats. It’s no surprise that a Labour government would find it difficult to reach any such agreement with the Conservatives, but it’s still a significant step to rule it … Continue reading

Welsh Labour & Assembly voting system

Welsh Labour’s Executive Committee has backed a controversial call by the Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain to elect all Assembly members by first-past-the-post IF there are if to be changes to the boundaries. ‘IF’ is the crucial word because as you will see below, Welsh Labour has now set itself firmly against ANY change and … 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

Welsh Budget latest / Sharp End preview

Well it seems at least one of the things I said earlier this week about the behind-the-scenes talks on the Welsh budget was wrong: the opposition parties certainly have been working together. It’s not quite a return of the rainbow coalition which almost happened after the 2007 but what I expect to happen this afternoon … Continue reading

Conservative candidates in Labour heartlands

My attention has been drawn to something which was said to Welsh Conservatives at their policy forum last weekend and has been overlooked. It gives an insight into the party’s intentions for next year’s local elections and, I think, into a wider strategy. Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan told party members that next year, they should … 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

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