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Live Reporting

Alun Jones and Sara Down-Roberts

All times stated are UK

  1. Neil McEvoy banned from Senedd for 21 days for 'aggressive' incident

    MSs endorse the recommendation of the Standards of Conduct Committee report, so the Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central is banned from the Senedd for 21 days.

    There were 45 for, two abstentions and six against.

    The standards committee of the Senedd found that Neil McEvoy committed a "severe breach" of the code of conduct and had showed "contempt" for colleagues.

  2. Call for suspension of coronavirus restrictions rejected

    The Welsh Conservatives' motion expressing regret at the "adverse impact" of the coronavirus restrictions and calling for them to be "suspended with immediate effect" is rejected.

    There were 17 for, nine abstentions and 27 against.

    Rules are set to be relaxed over Christmas for several days
    Image caption: Rules are set to be relaxed over Christmas for several days
  3. 'National measures to protect public health and reduce the spread of coronavirus'

    The Welsh Government motion on the coronavirus restrictions is passed, with two Conservative amendments.

    There were 33 for, 10 abstentions and nine against.

    So the Senedd:

    "Notes:

    "a) the increase in the seven-day rolling incidence rate of coronavirus cases across Wales;

    "b) the statement by the First Minister on 1 December which set out new national measures to protect public health and reduce the spread of coronavirus; and

    "c) the £340m package of business support to be made available through the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by the new national measures.

    "Calls upon the Welsh Government to publish the evidence on which it based its decision to close indoor entertainment venues.

    "Further calls upon the Welsh Government to make sufficient financial support available to businesses in a timely manner."

    Opposition parties wanted to debate and vote on the rules before they were imposed, last Friday.

    During the pandemic, ministers have repeatedly used their powers to alter legislation, with votes taking place later in the Senedd.

    Covid death rates
  4. Support for babies and new parents during Covid-19: proposal accepted

    The proposal by Lynne Neagle (Torfaen) on support for babies and new parents during Covid-19 is accepted.

    There were 41 for, 12 abstentions and nobody against.

  5. Neil McEvoy disputes the accounts of the complainant

    Mr McEvoy appealed against the standards committee's ruling - made before Sir Roderick's resignation - to a high court judge. Sir John Griffith Williams dismissed the appeal in April of this year.

    Mr McEvoy tells the Senedd he disputes the accounts of the complainant Mr Antoniw, and the account of some witnesses that state he got up "two or three times" in the Senedd chamber.

    There was no CCTV footage of the incident inside the chamber, but there was outside.

    Mr McEvoy, who is also a Cardiff councillor, tells the Senedd that the footage calls into question some of the statements made by witnesses and the complainant.

    The committee decided not to view the footage on data protection grounds and was "persuaded on the balance of evidence". The commissioner, it said, found enough evidence to support the complaint without needing to rely on CCTV footage.

    This investigation into Neil McEvoy was completed last year
    Image caption: This investigation into Neil McEvoy was completed last year
  6. Neil McEvoy MS 'physically and verbally aggressive'

    Standards of Conduct Committee chair Jayne Bryant (Newport West) now proposes that the Senedd endorses the recommendation in a report that says Neil McEvoy MS committed a "severe breach" of the code of conduct and had showed "contempt" for colleagues.

    He is facing losing 21 days salary after he was found to have been "physically and verbally aggressive" to Labour's Mick Antoniw.

    A probe heard how the Pontypridd politician was left "upset and shaken" after Neil McEvoy remonstrated with him in the Senedd in May 2019.

    One witness said it "looked as though Neil was going to punch Mick".

    The ruling follows an investigation by former standards commissioner Sir Roderick Evans, who completed the probe months before his resignation prompted by secret recordings made by Mr McEvoy.

    Six members of Senedd staff gave interviews about the incident involving Mr Antoniw, according to the report.

    "Descriptions of [Mr McEvoy's] conduct reveal a level of aggression that would not be acceptable in licensed premises let alone in the National Assembly in front of members of staff and members of the public," Sir Roderick wrote.

    Sir Roderick Evans completed the investigation before he resigned last year
    Image caption: Sir Roderick Evans completed the investigation before he resigned last year
  7. 'Advice certainly does justify the decisions that the government have taken'

    Labour MS Alun Davies, who last week called to see the evidence behind the ban, says he had read the scientific advice published by the government this week.

    He says: “The advice from the scientific community, the advice from the medical community to the government certainly does justify the decisions that the government have taken.”

  8. 'Hospitality venues should be allowed to stay open until 8pm'

    Among the Plaid Cymru amendments moved by Rhun ap Iorwerth is that hospitality venues should be allowed to stay open until 8pm.

    They also call on the Welsh Government "to afford the opportunity for opposition parties to make reasonable requests for independent modelling by the technical advisory cell on alternative proposals in relation to matters such as the closure of the hospitality sector and other non-pharmaceutical interventions".

    Some people were “questioning the logic” of the latest measures, he says, because four people can meet for a coffee but “not even an individual can have a quiet pint in the same establishment”.

    “I know it’s not people having a quiet pint that the government is worried about, but they are still affected,” he says.

    “And in stark contrast supermarkets can still sell as much alcohol as they like until late in the evening.”

    Rhun ap Iorwerth
    Image caption: Rhun ap Iorwerth
  9. 'This isn’t democracy. This has become an elected dictatorship'

    Caroline Jones (South Wales West) from the Independent Alliance for Reform Group says she was “disappointed” that the Senedd was simply being asked to “rubber stamp decisions which have already been made”.

    “This isn’t democracy. This has become an elected dictatorship,” she says.

    She adds it is a matter of regret "that the Welsh Government has pursued a course of action based on very limited evidence of the situation in Wales; that the restrictions will have a very limited impact upon infection rates in Wales; that these restrictions will have a lasting impact on jobs and livelihoods and will cause lasting damage to the hospitality sector in Wales."

    Caroline Jones
    Image caption: Caroline Jones
  10. 'Suspend the coronavirus restrictions with immediate effect'

    The topic chosen by the Welsh Conservatives for their debate is the coronavirus restrictions.

    Darren Millar (Clwyd West) proposes that the Senedd:

    1. "Notes the coronavirus restrictions imposed on the hospitality and indoor entertainment industries in Wales from 4 December 2020.

    2. "Regrets the adverse impact of the restrictions on Welsh businesses and jobs.

    3. "Calls upon the Welsh Government to:

    a) suspend the restrictions with immediate effect; and

    b) adopt a more proportionate and targeted approach to tackling the coronavirus in Wales."

    The amendments tabled to the motion have not been selected.

    He says he does "not believe that a Wales-wide approach is proportionate given that COVID-19 is circulating at different rates in different parts of the country".

    He also argues that "the financial support available to businesses affected by the restrictions is insufficient, especially when firms have spent vast sums on ensuring their premises are COVID secure for staff and customers".

    “The Wales-wide approach taken by the Welsh Government pays no regard to the fact that the virus is circulating at very different rates in different parts of Wales,” he adds.

    Pubs have been stopped from selling alcohol in Wales
    Image caption: Pubs have been stopped from selling alcohol in Wales
  11. Relaxing restrictions would 'undoubtedly lead to avoidable deaths'

    Health minister Vaughan Gething moves the Welsh Government motion proposing that the Senedd:

    "Notes:

    a) the increase in the seven-day rolling incidence rate of coronavirus cases across Wales;

    b) the statement by the First Minister on 1 December which set out new national measures to protect public health and reduce the spread of coronavirus; and

    c) the £340m package of business support to be made available through the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by the new national measures."

    He emphasises that case rates in more than half of council areas have hit their highest levels yet.

    Mr Gething says: “I hope that the sobering, troubling and undeniably serious figures of the last few days will have given all members the time to pause and reflect.

    “As we face the prospect of greater harm, as we face the prospect of a hard, difficult and deadly winter ahead of us without further changes, I hope that in the face of that prospect members will reflect on whether this Senedd should vote today to relax restrictions.

    “I believe doing so will undoubtedly cause greater harm and undoubtedly will lead to avoidable deaths for the people we serve.

    “I do not believe that is a responsible choice.”

    Four people from different households in Wales are currently allowed to meet indoors at pubs, cafes and restaurants and outdoors
    Image caption: Four people from different households in Wales are currently allowed to meet indoors at pubs, cafes and restaurants and outdoors
  12. Two debates on coronavirus combined with separate votes

    Members agree a proposal to group the following two items for debate with separate votes:

    • Welsh Government coronavirus debate (postponed from yesterday due to the technical problems in the Senedd)
    • Conservative coronavirus debate
  13. 'Significant steps' to learn from this year's flooding

    Leanne Wood, Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda, says a public inquiry would get to the heart of what happened and what needs to happen to stand the best chance of preventing it from happening again.

    Pontypridd MS Mick Antoniw says a public inquiry would take at least a year and would delay what needs to be done. The focus should be on the action already underway, he adds. A report written by Mr Antoniw and Pontypridd MP Alex Davies-Jones called for flood emergency drills to be carried out to check areas are protected.

    Environment minister Lesley Griffiths says the Welsh Government had taken "significant steps" to learn from this year's flooding and had awarded £1.6m in emergency funding for Rhondda Cynon Taf.

    Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in early 2020 led to record rainfall and river flows across Wales and the most widespread flooding seen since 1979.

    Rhondda Cynon Taf was one of the worst-hit areas, where almost 1,500 homes and businesses were affected, with people forced to leave their homes.

    Streets in RCT were left under water during February's storms
    Image caption: Streets in RCT were left under water during February's storms
  14. Call for public inquiry into Rhondda Cynon Taf flooding

    The next item is a debate which will note Petition P-05-1010 - "An independent inquiry into the 2020 flooding in Rhondda Cynon Taf so that lessons are learned".

    This petition was submitted by Heledd Fychan having collected 274 signatures on paper and 5,743 online, a total of 6,017 signatures.

    Text of Petition:

    We, the undersigned, urge the Welsh Government to initiate a full, independent, open and public inquiry into the 2020 flooding of homes and businesses across Rhondda Cynon Taf, and that appropriate steps are taken to rectify any issues so that similar damage can be prevented from reoccurring.

    Video content

    Video caption: Storm Dennis: South Wales under water as floods hit
  15. 'Ongoing improvement' of support for babies and new parents

    Health minister Vaughan Gething says the Welsh Government is committed to the "ongoing improvement" of perinatal mental health services and support for babies and new parents.

  16. Plaid politician departing Senedd one of the co-submitters of the motion

    One of the co-submitters of the motion is Bethan Sayed who is standing down to spend more time with her son.

    She speaks emotionally of the negative impact of Covid restrictions on her experience of becoming a mother during the pandemic. She says the Welsh Government "must intervene to ensure health boards allow proper support for women in labour and post-natal care".

    She announced in August that she would not seek re-election to the Senedd in 2021.

    The Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales West said it was "impossible" to raise a new family with the hours her job demands.

    Video content

    Video caption: Politics 'needs to be more family-friendly'
  17. 'Provide additional ring-fenced investment for perinatal mental health services and voluntary services'

    The topic chosen by Lynne Neagle (Torfaen) for the Member Debate is "support for babies and new parents during Covid-19".

    She proposes that the Senedd:

    1. Recognises that the evidence is unequivocal that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, from pregnancy to age two, lay the foundations for a happy and healthy life and that the support and wellbeing of babies during this time is strongly linked to better outcomes later in life, including educational achievement, progress at work and better physical and mental health.

    2. Notes that since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown and social distancing measures, a growing body of research indicates parents are facing unprecedented pressures, heightened anxieties, and are at increased risk of developing mental health problems in the perinatal period.

    3. Notes that the Babies in Lockdown 2020 survey showed that for 66 per cent of respondents from Wales, parental mental health was cited as a main concern during lockdown: only 26 per cent felt confident that they could find help for mental health if they needed it and 69 per cent of parents felt the changes brought on by COVID-19 were affecting their unborn baby, baby or young child.

    4. Notes that the New Parents and COVID-19 2020 research found that over half of the 257 respondents who have given birth since lockdown felt that their birth experience was more difficult than expected due to the coronavirus restrictions, more than 60 per cent not receiving any form of post-natal check-up and almost a quarter wanting perinatal mental health support..

    5. Calls on the Welsh Government to ensure services and support for families during pregnancy and the perinatal period are prioritised and that the midwifery, health visiting and perinatal mental health workforce is protected from redeployment during the pandemic.

    6. Calls on the Welsh Government to proactively work with health boards to ensure women can be safely supported by their partners during hospital visits during pregnancy.

    7. Calls on the Welsh Government to provide additional ring-fenced investment for perinatal mental health services and voluntary services to cope with the increase in demand because of COVID-19.

    Lynne Neagle
    Image caption: Lynne Neagle
  18. 'Broken every promise to the people of Wales'

    Minister for European Transition Jeremy Miles says the "UK government's announcement on the shared prosperity fund has broken every promise to the people of Wales, including that we would not be worse off after leaving the European Union."

    Labour and Plaid Cymru have complained of a lack of detail in the Spending Review.

    The UK government said the fund would tackle inequality and deprivation.

    Last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said total domestic UK-wide funding for the new Shared Prosperity Fund will "at least match current EU receipts, on average reaching around of £1.5 billion a year".

    UK ministers have previously promised Wales would not receive "a penny less" in funding after the Brexit transition period ends
    Image caption: UK ministers have previously promised Wales would not receive "a penny less" in funding after the Brexit transition period ends