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Statement from the Presiding Officer - Delay of Wales Bill is the right decision for Wales

29/02/2016

The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, has issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Secretary of State for Wales concerning the Wales Bill.

Dame Rosemary said:

"I welcome the Secretary of State for Wales's announcement of a delay to the introduction of the Wales Bill.  It is the right decision to give the Assembly and the UK Government the opportunity to forge together a lasting constitutional settlement for Wales.

"In January the Assembly voted unanimously on the recommendations of the Assembly's Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, which called for the Bill not to proceed until it was significantly amended.

"I welcome the findings of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in its report on the draft Wales Bill.  Its conclusions mirror that of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee which produced its own detailed consideration of the draft Bill before Christmas.

"Both reports provide further evidence of the strength of feeling across civic society on the draft Wales Bill and the need for considerable change - it is good to see the Secretary of State has listened.

"I have repeatedly expressed my concerns with the proposed 'necessity' test and the list of reservations so I am particularly pleased that the Secretary of State has confirmed he is making changes in these areas.

"It is important now that this time is used constructively to engage with the Assembly, Welsh Government and stakeholders to improve the Bill, so that it can be supported by the next Assembly and deliver a clear, workable settlement that does not roll back on the powers already devolved to Wales."

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