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Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Sarah Down-Roberts

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    That's it from the Siambr for today.

    Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 21 January.

    Senedd
  2. Celebrating Welsh heroes

    The topic chosen for the Short Debate by Mick Antoniw (Pontypridd) is "Celebrating Welsh Heroes: The contribution of Welsh heroes to Wales’s international profile".

    One of the heroes he cites is a Welsh journalist who helped expose genocide in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union.

    Gareth Jones, who was also a personal aide to former prime minister David Lloyd George, helped expose Stalin's "holodomor" policy of deliberate starvation.

    This claimed the lives of anywhere between 4m and 10m people in the Ukraine during 1932/33.

    Mick Antoniw
  3. Plaid Cymru motion passed

    The Plaid Cymru motion on rape and sexual abuse is passed unamended, with Welsh Government support.

    There were 35 for, two abstentions and 12 against.

  4. AM recalls being falsely accused of rape

    UKIP AM Neil Hamilton describes the trauma he and his wife Christine endured when they were falsely accused of rape in 2001.

    The woman who accused them was found guilty of making up the incident.

    Neil Hamilton
  5. 'Beaten around the head because I refused to go along with his advances'

    Jenny Rathbone reveals that when she was 18 she was "beaten around the head" by a man "because I refused to go along with his advances".

    She says she never reported it to anyone.

    Jenny Rathbone
    Image caption: Jenny Rathbone
  6. 'Committed to restoring confidence in the justice system'

    The two Conservative amendments, moved by Mark Isherwood, are to add as new points at the end of the motion:

    • "that the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Rape Inspection 2019 report found that both the number of cases referred to the CPS for a decision by the Police and the number of cases prosecuted by the CPS fell, despite reports of rape to the police nearly doubling."
    • "the UK Government’s statement that the findings are “deeply concerning” and that “they were committed to restoring confidence in the justice system and providing better support for victims”.
  7. 'Increasing conviction rates as well as preventing abuse and rape'

    On behalf of the Brexit Party, Mandy Jones moves their amendment which "notes the Thomas Commission’s report and thanks the Commission for their work on the possible devolution of justice while looking forward to the promised debate in government time on the Commission’s findings and any impact these will have on increasing conviction rates as well as preventing abuse and rape".

    Mandy Jones
    Image caption: Mandy Jones
  8. 'Prosecutions for rape and convictions in England and Wales are at their lowest levels in a decade'

    The topic chosen by Plaid Cymru for their debate is rape and sexual abuse.

    Leanne Wood moves the proposal that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes the increase in reports of rape in England and Wales.

    2. Expresses sympathy and solidarity with survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

    3. Regrets the continued failure of many criminal justice systems across the world to offer support to survivors, and regrets that it remains the case that too often survivors are not believed and are forced to relive horrific experiences through insensitive court processes, and cultures within police forces that don’t believe victims.

    4. Notes that prosecutions for rape and convictions in England and Wales are at their lowest levels in a decade, and that improving conviction rates is a crucial part of a rape prevention strategy.

    5. Notes that the Thomas Commission has argued that only full legislative devolution combined with executive powers will overcome the obstacles of the current devolution settlement when it comes to addressing the lack of justice and accountability of the status quo.

    6. Calls for sexual assault support and services to be available and well-funded, and for courts to be adapted so that victims feel protected, not intimidated when giving evidence.

    7. Calls for the devolution of justice so that we can address these low convictions rates through adopting international best practice on increasing conviction rates and prevention of abuse and rape.

    Leanne Wood
    Image caption: Leanne Wood
  9. One recommendation rejected

    Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, responds to the report on behalf of the Welsh Government.

    One recommendation is rejected.

    The Committee had recommended that "the Curriculum for Wales 2022 should include guidance which sets out a common body of knowledge for all pupils studying history. These key events and topics will allow all pupils to have an understanding of how their country has been shaped by local and national events within the context of Welsh, British and international histories".

    But the Welsh Government says that "Curriculum for Wales is a purpose-led curriculum which moves away from specifying lists of ‘topics / content’ to be taught. Curriculum for Wales provides a clear articulation of the conceptual understanding required to progress in learning. History will form part of the Humanities Area of Learning and Experience."

    The response from the Welsh Government can be seen in full here.

  10. 'Remit Estyn to undertake a thematic review of the teaching of Welsh history in schools'

    The committee has been looking at how Welsh history is currently taught and what the Welsh Government’s Curriculum for Wales 2022 means for the teaching of this subject in future.

    Committee Chair Bethan Sayed presents the report, which has eight recommendations.

    One of the recommendations is that the Welsh Government "should remit Estyn to undertake a thematic review of the teaching of Welsh history in schools. The Committee would like evidence of the extent to which schools are meeting the requirements of the GCSE, AS and A level specifications on teaching Welsh content."

  11. All recommendations accepted

    Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd, responds on behalf of the Welsh Government to the report.

    All the recommendations are accepted.

    The Welsh Government's full response can be seen here.

    Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd
    Image caption: Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd
  12. 'Consider infrastructure investment plans on a longer term basis'

    Committee chair Llyr Gruffydd (North Wales) presents the report, which has nine recommendations.

    Recommendation 1 is that the Welsh Government "considers infrastructure investment plans on a longer term basis, which prioritises and allocates funding sources to projects to ensure there is a clear picture of how much borrowing will be required in future years".

    Llyr Gruffydd
    Image caption: Llyr Gruffydd
  13. Topical Question 2: Flybe

    Russell George (Montgomeryshire) asks: Will the Minister make a statement in response to reports regarding Flybe's future and its impact on Cardiff Airport?

    Ken Skates notes that the UK government has agreed to work with Flybe to figure out a repayment plan for a significant tax debt that is thought to top £100m, but adds that the UK government "needs to intervene further in supporting the competitiveness of smaller airports".

    Flybe
  14. Topical Question 1: Mondi

    Jack Sargeant (Alun and Deeside) asks: Will the Minister make a statement on the announcement by Mondi of job losses at the Deeside Industrial Park in Flintshire?

    Economy minister Ken Skates replies "our focus is on persuading the company to retain the north Wales site".

    The packaging firm has announced plans to close two factories, which could lead to the loss of up to 208 jobs.

    Mondi has said it would close operations at the Deeside Industrial Park, Flintshire, where 167 jobs are at risk, and in Nelson, Lancashire, with 41 jobs affected.

    The firm said a "change in demand for the niche products" at the sites has led to their potential closures.

    Mondi has a factory at the Deeside Industrial Park in Flintshire
    Image caption: Mondi has a factory at the Deeside Industrial Park in Flintshire
  15. Recruitment and retention of doctors

    Brexit Party group leader Mark Reckless questions whether Welsh Government policy has a "negative impact on the recruitment and retention of doctors".

    He says, "When I speak with doctors in Wales, I often find their perception of the difference between the pay-scales - an idea that pay is significantly less in Wales - is out of all proportion to the relatively small amount of those differences".

    He questions whether the "modest savings" achieved by the policy are worthwhile.

    Mr Gething acknowledges there is "some sensitivity about differential scales potentially on either side of the border".

    Brexit Party group leader, Mark Reckless
    Image caption: Brexit Party group leader, Mark Reckless
  16. 'Selfless army of 370,000 unpaid carers in Wales'

    Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders calls for greater support for the "selfless army of 370,000 unpaid carers in Wales".

    Julie Morgan, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, replies that the three national priorities are:

    • Supporting life alongside caring
    • Identifying and recognising carers
    • Providing information, advice and assistance.
    Janet Finch-Saunders
    Image caption: Janet Finch-Saunders
    Julie Morgan
    Image caption: Julie Morgan
  17. Delayed transfers of care

    On delayed transfers of care in the Welsh health service, Plaid Cymru's Helen Mary Jones takes issue with the first minister's assertion yesterday that "we have resolved the problem and the situation is much better than it was when I started as health minister".

    Helen Mary Jones
    Image caption: Helen Mary Jones
  18. Rapid diagnostic centres

    We move on to Questions to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething.

    Asked by Plaid Cymru's Siân Gwenllian when will he publish an evaluation of the Welsh Government's rapid diagnostic centres plan, he replies the final evaluation is due to be considered in May.

    Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething
    Image caption: Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething