David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

The place to come for the Welsh view of Westminster and updates on the politics and personalities of Parliament

Has Westminster become a zombie parliament?

Shortly after five o'clock on Tuesday, a milestone was reached in the House of Commons.

Government business for the week was concluded. Parliament has continued to meet, with ministers facing questions and MPs debating opposition and cross-party motions but with fewer than 100 days to go until May 7, government legislation has been thin on the ground, at least in the Commons.

As I write, barely two dozen MPs are present for William Hague's statement about forthcoming business. Earlier this month, Mr Hague denied the zombie claim, telling MPs: "I ought to point out that in this parliament we will actually sit for 734 days, which is more than the 718 days of the five-year parliament under the last government, and that in this session we are considering, including the bill to be introduced today, 23 government bills, compared with 13 main programme bills under the Labour party in the last session of the last parliament."

You can probably see where I'm going with this one. Some MPs - across parties - think Westminster has become a "zombie parliament" with MPs deserting the green benches to spend time knocking on doors or, in the case of government ministers, visiting any successful office factory that will offer them a cup of tea and a photo-opportunity.

Some blame the Fixed Term Parliaments Act of 2011. The issue was discussed on last night's edition of The Wales Report with Huw Edwards. You can watch my brief contribution - filmed at The London Tombs - above.

Read full article Has Westminster become a zombie parliament?

Wigley's 'gaffe', Healey's law and shooting messengers

It's known as "Healey's law" or "the first law of holes". When you're in a hole, stop digging.

It's usually sound advice for politicians, although the transcript of yesterday's BBC interview with Lord Wigley suggests even experienced political operators sometimes forget a law popularised by the former Labour Chancellor Denis Healey.

Read full article Wigley's 'gaffe', Healey's law and shooting messengers

Hansard struggles to tell Welsh Labour MPs apart

Welsh MPs Wayne David and Albert Owen
Separated at birth? Wayne David and Albert Owen

One is Labour MP for Ynys Mon; the other is Labour MP for Caerphilly.

But for one unfortunate Hansard reporter, they are both called Albert Owen. Readers of the official report on Monday's House of Commons debates will have noticed an intervention from someone of that name during questions to the secretary of state for work and pensions.

Read full article Hansard struggles to tell Welsh Labour MPs apart

That Wigley Trident interview - the transcript

Lord Wigley
Lord Wigley has apologised for any offence his comments have caused

Here's a transcript of Lord Wigley's interview with my colleague Ross Hawkins.

Lord Wigley: Plaid Cymru has always been opposed to nuclear weapons, we are opposed to Trident, we had a motion in the House on that and we forced a vote and the idea that Trident is moved from Scotland to Wales, because of the strength of the SNP in Scotland and we admire the way they have gotten Trident onto the agenda, but to locate it in Wales is totally unacceptable as far as we are concerned and we will do everything in our power to stop it happening.

Read full article That Wigley Trident interview - the transcript

Kinnock backs tax rise as Hain recalls 'Redwood moment'

Lord Kinnock, Ralph McTell and Peter Hain
Folk singer Ralph McTell was among the stars joining Lord Kinnock and Peter Hain for the book launch

The ties and the trouser legs were narrower but Peter Hain's book launch had the feel of a 1970s Tribune rally.

Appropriate enough, you might think, as it was at such a gathering - the 1977 Labour conference in Brighton - that Neil Kinnock introduced the defecting leader of the Young Liberals to the Labour Party.

Read full article Kinnock backs tax rise as Hain recalls 'Redwood moment'

Welsh Tory leader floats 5 pence Welsh income tax cut

The powers have yet to arrive but some politicians are already planning how to use them.

You may have caught Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies on last night's Westminster Hour on Radio 4 arguing for a 3-5p cut in the 40% higher rate in Wales.

Read full article Welsh Tory leader floats 5 pence Welsh income tax cut

Former Commons clerk goes back to Welsh roots in Lords

Sir Robert Rogers being sworn in as Lord Lisvane
The former Commons clerk has adopted the title of Lord Lisvane

Wales has a new cross-bench peer.

Lord Lisvane took his seat in the House of Lords this morning. He is perhaps better known as Sir Robert Rogers, whose familiar bewigged and bewhiskered features were until late last year seen in the House of Commons, where he was clerk and chief executive and sat in front of the Speaker John Bercow.

Read full article Former Commons clerk goes back to Welsh roots in Lords

Historian MP casts doubt on Owain Glyndwr parliament

Owain Glyndwr, self-proclaimed Prince of Wales
Did Owain Glyndwr's parliament never exist?

Was Owain Glyndwr's parliament a myth?

Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant, doyen of parliamentary historians, think so.

Read full article Historian MP casts doubt on Owain Glyndwr parliament

Trident: Plaid draw 'ambitious' nuclear red line

Royal Navy"s 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard
Scrapping Trident is an 'ambitious red line', admits Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams

Would Labour support for Britain's nuclear deterrent scupper a post-election deal with Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Greens?

Plaid Cymru confirmed at the weekend that "in no circumstances would it prop up a government committed to wasting billions of pounds on a Cold War relic which could be better spent on health, education and transport to name but a few".

Read full article Trident: Plaid draw 'ambitious' nuclear red line

De Montfort, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and 'Democracy Day'

It's a notable year for notable anniversaries.

Take your pick: 50 years since Winston Churchill died, 800 years since Magna Carta, 200 years since Waterloo.

Read full article De Montfort, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and 'Democracy Day'

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About David

David Cornock has been covering politics from Westminster for more than two decades.

He grew up near Penarth in South Wales and trained on the Western Mail.

He moved to London in 1988 and became the newspaper's political editor.

In 1995, he joined BBC Wales as its parliamentary correspondent.

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