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Annual Lecture 2017 by Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer for the National Assembly for Wales

Towards a Parliament that works for Wales

Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer for the National Assembly, will deliver the Annual Lecture of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University on Wednesday 6th December at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay. At a time of significant constitutional change in Wales as a result of Brexit and following the devolution of new powers, the Presiding Officer will be discussing her vision for the future of the National Assembly.

The lecture will be held ahead of the publication of the Expert Panel’s Report on Assembly Electoral Reform. Commenting ahead of its publication, the Presiding Officer said:

“Among the countries of the EU, the average size of lower chambers of parliaments is 267 members.  According to a recent study, for those parliaments serving populations of between 1 and 6 million people, their average size is 142 members.  We have an extremely small institution and the people of Wales, per head of population, have far fewer representatives in their national parliament than the EU average.

If the report recommends that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, and if that’s what Members ask me to do, then I am prepared to lead the debate. I am prepared instigate an innovative, thorough and meaningful conversation with the people of Wales.  When the panel publishes its report, I hope we can work together across the political spectrum, in order to develop a political consensus and find the right way forward.”

Commenting on the Brexit process:

“This is a time for mature, grown up and direct relations between parliamentary committees, between legislatures, between cabinet Secretaries and their equivalent Ministers elsewhere and between government departments.  This is the time to forge greater equality and parity between the nations, and it’s a time which requires self-confidence but also, mutual respect.”

Director of the Wales Governance Centre Richard Wyn Jones said:

“To state that this is a time of constitutional turmoil is to state the obvious. In such a period, the leadership role of the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer is going to be vital, which is why we are particularly pleased that Elin Jones AM has accepted our invitation to outline her vision for the future of our devolved institution in the Wales Governance Centre’s Annual Lecture.

In doing so she follows in a long line of very distinguished speakers in a lecture series that has become one of the highpoints in the Welsh political calendar.”