Wales politics: More politicians future proof Senedd – Elin Jones

Image source, Sind Cymru

Comment on the photo, The number of Sind politicians is set to rise from 60 to 96 from the next Welsh election in 2026.

  • author, Simlyn Davies
  • Role, BBC Wales political correspondent

The increase in Sind membership is the “perfect point” that will future-proof the transition of Welsh power over the next 100 years, according to its leader.

Ellen Jones said the reforms, supported by a majority of party members but opposed by the Conservatives, made the Senedd a “fit for purpose” parliament, even if Wales became independent.

Talking to BBC Walescast podcastMs Jones said the vote, which coincided with the 25th anniversary of Cardiff Bay’s first election, was “very important – and will take a long time”.

“Maybe this will correct the mistake that happened in 1999, when we had very few members in that first assembly.

“We should have had more members, so we had to wait and develop the argument and correct this mistake.

“And now, finally, in the same week that we celebrate 25 years of our existence as a Parliament, we are also taking the next step to make this Parliament fit for purpose for the next 25 years – I would even say the next 100 years.”

She added: “I don’t think there will need to be a major change in the numbers of people elected to this parliament.

“Even if Parliament becomes a Parliament for an independent Wales or a Parliament with far greater powers than it has today.”

Video explanation, Is having more politicians in the Senedd worth the money?

Rhys Up Owen was banned from the Senedd for six weeks in March after an investigation found he had inappropriately touched two women and cursed at them while drunk during a night out in June 2021.

In a statement issued at the time, Mr Ap Owen said his behavior “was not up to the standards the public would expect from a Sindhis member, and for this I apologize unreservedly”.

Comment on the photo, Rhys ap Owen was first elected to the Senedd in 2021

In response, Ms Jones told Walescast that the complaint against Mr Ap Owen had been taken seriously, but the “appropriate question to ask” was whether the system could be improved.

“Senedd has dealt with that.

“Whether we deal with it as quickly, as appropriately as we should have, is something our standards committee needs to consider now,” she said.

“I’m not saying everything is fine.

“I think we need to think about how we have experienced looking at this in the past and whether we need to make any changes.

“And we’re totally open to doing that and doing things better.”

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