“We expect it from the Tories of course, but Labour too have seemingly turned their back on devolution and the will of the Senedd” says Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru are today (Wednesday 26 June 2024) laying a motion before the Senedd calling to abolish the role of the Secretary for State for Wales, instead stating that its functions should be transferred to the Welsh Government.

The UK Conservative Government have long attacked devolution, using the office of Secretary of State to question the will of the Senedd. Plaid Cymru says this is set to continue under a UK Labour Government, and have called the role outdated.

Last week, in an interview with S4C programme Y Byd yn ei Le, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Jo Stevens, dismissed the will of the Senedd and showed a contemptuous attitude towards devolution. During the interview, Stevens denied HS2’s existence and thus the £4bn owed to Wales, and ridiculed the devolution of justice and policing to Wales as “fiddling around with structures and systems.”

The Senedd has long reached cross-party consensus that Wales should be given billions in consequentials from England’s HS2 project – labelled ‘England and Wales’ despite not an inch of track in Wales.

The devolution of justice and policing to Wales is also supported by Plaid Cymru and Labour in Wales, following several independent or cross-party commissions including the Thomas Commission (2019), the Silk Commission (2014) and most recently the Commission for the Constitutional Future of Wales (2024).


Plaid Cymru candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts said:

“On the 25th anniversary of devolution, the contemptuous and patronising attitude by Westminster parties towards the Senedd is clear as day.

“We expect it from the Tories of course, but Labour too have seemingly turned their back on devolution and the will of the Senedd.

“From denying Wales the billions it’s owed from England’s HS2, to refusing to devolve powers over policing and justice although several Labour commissioned reports have stated it would drastically improve outcomes. Jo Stevens – the incoming Secretary of State for Wales – gave us a preview of how Wales would be treated by a Labour UK Government.

“The office of the Secretary of State for Wales is meant to promote Welsh interests from within the UK Government. It’s instead being increasingly used as a platform to besmirch the Senedd’s distinctive democratic voice – regardless of which party holds office.

“Welsh democracy doesn’t need second guessing. It’s high time that this outdated role which does not effectively serve the interests of the people of Wales is abolished and its functions transferred to the Welsh Government.”


Plaid Cymru Senedd Business Manager, Heledd Fychan MS added:

“Last month marked 25 years of devolution in Wales. Yet, how the Secretary of State for Wales and its shadow opposition roles deal with Wales’ devolved parliament shows an entrenched imbalance of power that continues to define the relationship between Westminster and Wales.

“Section 114 of the Government of Wales Act encapsulates this clearly – enabling the Secretary of State for Wales to veto any Senedd legislation. It is a power grab function designed to send Wales a clear message that others will always be able to control our destiny.

“Last week’s interview by Labour’s Jo Stevens reinforced that, referring to devolution as an agreement not a demand.

“Regardless of who gets the keys to 10 Downing Steet, Westminster’s contempt and complacency towards Wales is constant.

“It’s becoming clearer by the day that the only vote for Wales’s voice to be heard and respected on July 4th is a vote for Plaid Cymru.”

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  • Brooke Webb
    published this page in News 2024-06-27 11:18:06 +0100

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