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Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales

First published:
27 July 2023
Last updated:

In my annual legislative statement on 27 June, I confirmed the Welsh Government will bring forward a Bill to reform the Senedd and a Bill to introduce gender quotas for candidates for election to the Senedd.

These Bills respond to the recommendations made by the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform and are a shared priority in the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

We continue to work towards the introduction of the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill early in the autumn term.

I set out in my April update we were exploring a number of additional policies for inclusion in the Bill, including a requirement on candidates to declare any political party membership they have held in the 12 months prior to a Senedd election as part of their nomination, similar to the arrangements in place for local government elections. We continue to pursue this policy, but have determined this can be achieved through secondary legislation.

The Bill will include provision for a requirement for candidates to, and Members of, the Senedd to be resident in Wales, and for a review of the operation of the new legislative provisions following the 2026 election.

We are committed to delivering the Special Purpose Committee’s recommendation in relation to encouraging political parties to publish diversity and inclusion strategies. We will therefore ensure that guidance is made available ahead of the next Senedd election to support and encourage political parties to publish diversity and inclusion strategies. This will serve the same purpose and deliver on the intent behind the committee’s recommendation, without the need for explicit provision in the Bill.

I look forward to the introduction of the Bills and Members’ scrutiny of the legislation as we move closer to creating a modern Senedd that reflects Wales and supports our democracy now and into the future.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.