Why don't MPs vote for things they [may] agree with?

Hywel Williams MP Image copyright House of Commons
Image caption 'Not an attempt to derail Brexit' - Hywel Williams MP

It's a familiar pattern to Westminster veterans. Plaid Cymru propose an amendment to a government bill and challenge Welsh Labour MPs to vote for it.

Labour (usually) refuse to rise to the bait. Plaid Cymru then issue a statement accusing Labour MPs of betraying Wales (or similar).

On Tuesday, Plaid Cymru tried to amend the European Union (Withdrawal) Amendment Bill - (aka 'great repeal bill') to ensure the UK couldn't repeal the law under which Britain entered the European Community without the consent of the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

'Derail'

Plaid Cymru insist they accept the referendum vote. "Our amendment was not an attempt to derail Brexit - it was an attempt to make sure Wales and the other UK countries have an equal say on our future," said Arfon MP Hywel Willliams. "Every national Parliament should be involved in this process, not just Westminster."

The four Plaid MPs were joined by their SNP colleagues, 12 Liberal Democrats, one Green and one Labour MP - Albert Owen, from Ynys Mon. They lost by 318 (mostly Conservative) votes to 52.

Read full article Why don't MPs vote for things they [may] agree with?

Back to the future: Are we re-living the Major years?

John Major and David Cornock Image copyright Western Mail
Image caption John Major being interviewed by a youthful Western Mail reporter in Downing Street

It may be old age but I'm starting to get flashbacks to the John Major years. It was a time when, aside from the normal ups and downs of political life, the government's luck ran out and it began to be blamed for things that weren't its fault.

The then Labour leader John Smith was able to joke about the then prime minister's struggles. "The man with the non-Midas touch is in charge," he said. "It is no wonder that we live in a country where the Grand National does not start and hotels fall into the sea."

Read full article Back to the future: Are we re-living the Major years?

Hart first MP to reach running milestone

Simon Hart MP Image copyright Colby parkrun
Image caption Simon Hart MP on his way to his milestone 100th parkrun

MPs don't have too much to celebrate at the moment, but Simon Hart is an exception.

The Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP is the first MP to run 100 parkruns. He completed the milestone at his local run at the National Trust site of Colby Woodland Garden near Amroth.

Read full article Hart first MP to reach running milestone

EU funds 'a failure' in Wales, minister tells MPs

Guto Bebb
Image caption Guto Bebb: '£4bn of investment and yet our comparative economic performance fell'

Alun Cairns and Guto Bebb have been taking MPs' questions in the House of Commons.

The exchanges followed a familiar pattern. Labour MPs are still angry about July's decision to scrap rail electrification to Swansea.

Read full article EU funds 'a failure' in Wales, minister tells MPs

Speech-writer rates Kinnock the best of his generation

Neil Kinnock
Image caption 'He was a great speaker, Kinnock' - the then Labour leader speaking at the 1987 party conference.

Anyone who has just stepped off the party conference circus may have their faith restored by a browse of Philip Collins's new book.

Collins, a former speechwriter to Tony Blair, has written a timely volume sub-titled 'speeches that shape the world - and why we need them'.

Read full article Speech-writer rates Kinnock the best of his generation

How would you vote in another Brexit referendum?

Alun Cairns MP
Image caption 'I don't answer hypothetical questions' - Alun Cairns

It's the question of the week. How would you vote if there were a Brexit referendum today?

It's a question (framed by LBC's Iain Dale) the prime minister chose not to answer.

Read full article How would you vote in another Brexit referendum?

'There are far too few nationalists in here' - minister

Lord Duncan of Springbank
Image caption 'There are far too few nationalists in here' - Wales Office Minister Lord Duncan

Think of a a maiden speech and the mind may fix on the image of a raw young MP, hands shaking with nerves as he or she tries to get their words out without stumbling.

But occasionally a maiden - the first parliamentary speech - is made by a government minister. Lord Duncan of Springbank, parliamentary under-secretary of state for Scotland and Wales, delivered his in the House of Lords on Monday evening.

Read full article 'There are far too few nationalists in here' - minister

Theresa May talks Wales, lagoons, trains & hill-walking

Prime Minister Theresa May
Image caption 'The scenery's great, the hospitality is great we get a great welcome there and it's a wonderful part of the country' - Theresa May on north Wales.

I had a few moments with the prime minister in No 10 ahead of the Conservative conference.

I found her more relaxed than in previous encounters, her answers slightly less formulaic.

Read full article Theresa May talks Wales, lagoons, trains & hill-walking

Welsh Tory leader has 'armchair generals' in his sights

Andrew RT Davies
Image caption Andrew RT Davies makes his pitch for urban voters.

Greetings from Manchester, where the Conservatives are holding their annual conference - and an inquest into the general election.

Andrew RT Davies has complained about what he calls "armchair generals dictating from afar". But his suggestion that the Welsh Tories be given more control of election campaigns appears to have been ignored by the party's official inquiry into what went wrong.

Read full article Welsh Tory leader has 'armchair generals' in his sights

'In Wales there is no PFI and no privatisation'

Alun Davies
Image caption "In Wales there is no PFI...." - Alun Davies at the Labour conference

The minister seemed clear enough. "In Wales," Alun Davies told the Labour conference, "there is no PFI and no privatisation".

It went down well at a conference where shadow Chancellor John McDonnell won a standing ovation for his pledge to bring PFI contracts, used heavily in the Blair/Brown era, in-house. But is "Labour's education minister in Wales" (as he introduced himself) right?

Read full article 'In Wales there is no PFI and no privatisation'