Wales

Welsh AMs worried about 'looking like muppets'

The Muppets Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A Welsh Conservative noted that MWP is not far from Muppet

There is consternation among some AMs at a suggestion their title should change to MWPs (Member of the Welsh Parliament).

It has arisen because of plans to change the name of the assembly to the Welsh Parliament.

AMs across the political spectrum are worried it could invite ridicule.

One Labour AM said his group was concerned "it rhymes with Twp and Pwp" (in Welsh twp means daft and pwp means poo).

A Plaid AM said the group as a whole was "not happy" and has suggested alternatives.

A Welsh Conservative said his group was "open minded" about the name change, but noted it was a short verbal hop from MWP to Muppet. (In this context The Welsh letter w is pronounced similarly to the Yorkshire English pronunciation of the letter u.)

The Assembly Commission, which is currently drafting legislation to introduce the name changes, said: "The final decision on any descriptors of what Assembly Members are called will of course be a matter for the members themselves".

Image caption The Assembly Commission meets at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay

The Government of Wales Act 2017 gave the Welsh assembly the power to change its name.

In June, the Commission published the results of a public consultation on the proposals which found broad support for calling the assembly a Welsh Parliament.

On the matter of the AMs' title, the Commission favoured Welsh Parliament Members or WMPs, but the MWP option received the most support in a public consultation.

AMs are apparently suggesting alternative options, but the struggle to reach consensus could be a headache for the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, who is expected to submit draft legislation on the changes within weeks.

The legislation on the reforms will include other changes to the way the assembly works, including rules on disqualification of AMs and the design of the committee system.

AMs will get the final vote on the question of what they should be called when they debate the legislation.

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