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Calling Welsh MPs

Betsan Powys | 15:08 UK time, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A press release arrives from Welsh Labour:

MP's not a "Rubber Stamp" - Jones

Welsh Labour's Counsel General, Carwyn Jones has said that Members of Parliament should not be expected to be a rubber stamp when it comes to Legislative Competence Orders.

Speaking in response to business questions at the Assembly, CARWYN JONES explained:

"The Government of Wales Act allocates a clearly defined role for Members of Parliament in the passage of Legislative Competence Orders. It is true that MPs are expected to examine whether it is appropriate for the Assembly to receive powers, rather that to second-guess what might be done with them, but any suggestion that they have no role in examining the devolution of power is wide of the mark.

Our parliamentary colleagues have much to offer in the way of experience and it is appropriate for them to produce reports that inform both governments on the way forward with legislation, in exactly the same way as AMs do.

"With goodwill at both ends of the M4 there is no reason to suspect that the present law-making arrangements cannot work, but we must understand that when it comes to LCOs, both MPs and AMs have a valuable role to play."

Hang on.

Welsh Labour's Counsel General? Do they have one? Isn't Carwyn Jones the Assembly Government's Counsel General?

And why feel the need to spell all of this out now ... why issue a full frontal press release from Transport House almost the minute his words are uttered in the Assembly chamber?

Is this a case of paving the way for an imminent climb-down over devolving powers in the area of affordable housing to the Assembly?

Or is he perhaps thinking more in terms of a leg-up and of those crucial votes in Westminster that could one day put him in the First Minister's seat?

Message received, Parliamentary Labour Party?

UPDATE: The Italics have caused the so-called 'furniture' to disappear from the side of the blog page. I've re-published the page without italics and added a few words that may help to enlighten confused commentators. I did say may.


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