All I want for Christmas is a Welsh grand committee

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb
Image caption Stephen Crabb addressing the only meeting of the Welsh grand committee held since he joined the cabinet.

Has there been a Welsh grand committee-shaped hole in your life for the past year or so?

The committee, which consists of all 40 MPs from Wales plus up to a handful of co-opted members, has not met since the general election in May. In fact, its last meeting was in July 2014, shortly after Stephen Crabb became secretary of state for Wales.

But now, be still your beating heart, the 'grand' is to be exhumed to allow MPs to discuss the UK government's devolution plans.

It follows a request from Shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffith, who told Mr Crabb in a letter that "people across Wales have grave concerns" about the draft Wales Bill.

"Lawyers and constitutional experts, as well as politicians from all parties, have said that the Bill is needlessly complex, open to legal challenges and will actually roll back the powers of the Welsh assembly.


"If Stephen Crabb is serious that he is in 'listening mode' he will convene the Welsh grand committee so that these concerns can be aired.

"The powers of our assembly are too important to be undermined by this Government's botched proposals."

The grand committee, occasionally known as the 'Welsh bland' has been derided as a talking shop and there have been attempts to kill it off for good.

But Mr Crabb is indeed in 'listening mode' in this season of goodwill to all, so there's something for all of us to look forward to during the two/four* week parliamentary recess. (*Delete as appropriate).