Wales politics

Welsh Parliament renaming bid for assembly watered down

Senedd Image copyright Philip Halling/Geograph

A plan to unofficially rename the assembly as the Welsh Parliament has been watered down.

AMs had been due to vote on the idea on Tuesday, but the Welsh Government-led motion was postponed.

It has been re-tabled for next Tuesday, but with the term Welsh Parliament dropped and Presiding Officer Elin Jones asked to examine renaming the body.

The Welsh Tories said the government had "overestimated its influence".

The Welsh Government said it had worked with Ms Jones to agree the motion.

There have been calls made for the assembly to be renamed to the Welsh Parliament for a number of years, with Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies saying in 2012 the assembly was a parliament "in all but name".

Jane Hutt, Labour's chief whip in the assembly, had originally tabled a motion to be voted on by AMs that said that the National Assembly for Wales agrees "its name should be changed to the 'Welsh Parliament' at the earliest opportunity".

'National parliament'

The motion added that the institution "should be known unofficially by that name until such a name change can be formalised".

But the revised motion now says "the assembly should change its name to reflect its constitutional status as a national parliament".

Image caption The new motion as tabled

Ms Hutt's new motion also "invites the presiding officer and assembly commission to consider the implications of such a change and how best to give it effect".

Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, will try to amend the motion to say that the Welsh language word Senedd - currently used to refer to the building that houses the assembly chamber - should be used to the institution itself.

The word Senedd is also used in Welsh to refer to the UK Parliament.

Spokespeople from the Welsh Government and the assembly said the presiding officer and ministers were happy to work with each other on the wording of the motion.

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: "The original phrasing of the motion would suggest that the Welsh Government had originally overestimated its influence in this matter."

"Their mistake is evident from the subsequent re-phrasing of the motion," he said.

"We welcome the role of the Presiding Officer in defending the autonomy of the assembly and look forward to this proposal being taken forward if it secures the majority vote of the assembly."

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