If the people of Wales were allowed to vote now – in a new Devolution Referendum – they would scrap the Welsh Assembly, says Welsh Conservative Leader and Penarth Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies.
Writing in a Bank Holiday weekend article in the Sunday Times On Line Davies says “The result [of the Devolution Referendum] was tight in 1997 but if the question were put to the people tomorrow I believe that they would vote to abolish the National Assembly.”
Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central – which includes Penarth) is leader of the Conservatives in Wales and in the Assembly. He accuses the current Welsh Labour Government of now trying to “subvert” the outcome of the E.U. Referendum in Wales – even though the people of Wales voted solidly to Leave the European Union.
Davies says “instead of seeking to reflect the will of the people – the Welsh Government is effectively seeking to subvert the [E U Referendum] result”.
Andrew R T Davies warns Labour that “They shouldn’t forget that in five Assembly Elections, turnout has never exceeded 50%, and whilst the public may support the principal of local decision-making there is very little evidence to suggest any great affection for the assembly itself.”
Davies says that in the wake of the E U Referendum “business as usual” is not an option for the Welsh Assembly . He says “We actually look to do business differently, and actually reach out to all parts of Wales, rather than just think we can continue as have done in the first 17 years,”
- In 1979 – when the Labour Party first tried to get the people of Wales to vote for “devolution” [i.e. the setting up of a Welsh Assembly and all the paraphernalia that goes with it] to the dismay both Labour and the Welsh Nationalist Party – Plaid Cymru, voters comprehensively rejected the idea by a massive four-to-one majority against. The turn out was 59.01% .
- In 1997 Tony Blair’s Labour Government then engineered a second controversial and, some claim, highly-suspect Welsh Devolution Referendum in which the rules were re-jigged to favour the pro-devolutionists and in which a much lower vote-threshold was required to swing the result. The outcome was a miniscule majority of only 6,721 in favour on a turnout of only 50.22%.