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What happened in the Assembly this week? - 22 June 2018

Worrying survey results, growing pressure on Leanne Wood, and Carwyn’s hybrid…

Concerning surveys for the government and assembly

Survey results published this week did not make for positive reading for either the Welsh Government or the National Assembly for Wales. Parental satisfaction in the quality of their children’s primary school dropped from 85% to 75% as the results of the National Survey for Wales were published by the government. More concerning was the Assembly’s Dignity and Respect survey, which found that 28% of 112 respondents reported that they have experienced inappropriate behaviour within the Assembly on multiple occasions. BBC Wales Live conducted its own research into harassment in the Assembly, which found evidence of inappropriate sexual behaviour from an AM and a member of BBC staff.

 

Plaid AMs backed to challenge Leanne Wood

Rhun ap Iorwerth and Adam Price received the backing of their local parties to run for the Plaid Cymru leadership as pressure on incumbent Leanne Wood grew this week. This comes after three AMs – Elin Jones, Llyr Gruffydd and Siân Gwenllian – called on their colleagues to consider throwing their hat in the ring. Ms Wood has already said she will stand down after the 2021 Assembly election if she does not become first minister, but she could be replaced sooner if someone puts their name forward before the window to challenge her leadership closes on 4th July.

 

Brexit mud-slinging

There was name-calling from all sides of the Assembly this week during debates on Brexit. Carwyn Jones likened Leanne Wood to a rugby player “trying to tackle members of her own side” after the Plaid leader renewed attacks on Labour over its approach to exiting the EU. The First Minister’s finance secretary, Mark Drakeford, said claims of a ‘Brexit divided’ have “fallen apart” in the Prime Minister’s hands, while Neil Hamilton – as he so often does – took aim at Michel Barnier, accusing the EU’s chief negotiator of taking a hard-line approach to negotiations to discourage other EU member states from following the UK’s lead.

 

Carwyn’s Car

The First Minister urged Plaid Cymru AMs to “practice what they preach” as he was put under pressure to move towards phasing out polluting vehicles by 2030. In response to Leanne Wood’s calls to invest in hydrogen and electric vehicle technology, Carwyn Jones questioned whether the leader of Plaid and her colleagues drive a hybrid or electric car, “something that I’ve been doing for three years”. Simon Thomas responded quickly by lodging a written question on the First Minister’s journeys in his ministerial car. You suspect Mr Jones could end up with egg on his face…

Photo credit: National Assembly for Wales via Flicker

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