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Welsh MPs meet for first day in Parliament

Newly-elected Members of Parliament will meet for the first time today since winning their seat in the general election.

A total of 40 MPs from Wales will head to Westminster for the first official meeting Credit: PA

Wales will be sending three more Conservative MPs to Westminster than in 2010.

It follows victories in the Gower, Vale of Clwyd, and Brecon and Radnor.

Despite this, Labour still has a strong hold in Wales and sends 25 MPs, 11 represents the Conservatives, three for Plaid Cymru and one for the Liberal Democrats.

At the first meeting, the MPs will get to vote to elect a new speaker of the house.

Second anti-austerity march in Cardiff

An anti-austerity march and rally is taking place in Cardiff today.

It follows on from a previous rally organised last weekend, where campaigners were joined by singer Charlotte Church.

The march has been organised in protest against austerity. Credit: PA

According to organisers at least 400 to 500 people are expected - a bigger demo than last week. Charlotte Church is expected to return, along with poet Patrick Jones.

Other celebrities, including Michael Sheen, have also tweeted their support of the event.

"I am thrilled that Michael has chosen to support this event. With 74% of new jobs Welsh below living wage...and communities confronting record cuts, we need a grass roots movement to push back! Cardiff peoples Assembly Against Austerity is committed to building such a movement. In Scotland, politicians have been forced to get out of their bunkers and fight. We demand the same of our representatives!"

– Jamie Insole, Cardiff Peoples Assembly

Last weeks' rally was organised by Cardiff People's Assembly to campaign against the newly-elected Westminster Tory government, with around 250 people in attendance.

Protesters have met at the Nye Bevan statue in the centre of Cardiff and plan to walk down Queen Street and on to Library Square via the Hayes, with the rally expected to go on until just before 3pm.

Protesters have met at the Nye Bevan statue in Cardiff.

"On Saturday we will gather at the statue of Aneurin Bevan, the founder of our NHS to remind people that there is another vision of our society to the Tory ideology of greed and money. One based on solidarity, co-operation and community where nobody wins unless everybody wins. In 1945, Britain was bankrupt, in debt, with a higher deficit than now and yet the government built half-a-million council houses, founded the NHS, launched the welfare state. We do not accept a government that less than quarter of people actually voted for can take that away for us. The mainstream political parties have failed us. It's time to take to the streets"

– Adam Johannes, Cardiff Peoples Assembly
This weeks' march is a follow up to a similar event last week.


Crabb: Devolution bill 'hopefully' in Queen's Speech

The Secretary of State for Wales has told ITV News a bill on further devolution will "hopefully" be included in the Queen's speech.

Stephen Crabb has previously stated he wants a "clear, robust and lasting devolution settlement for Wales".

When pressed on the word 'hopefully' by our reporter Alexandra Lodge, this was Mr Crabb's reply:

Mr Crabb met with First Minister Carwyn Jones today to discuss Wales' future - and said he would work with Mr Jones to get the best deal.

Cameron on first visit to Wales after election success

David Cameron is beginning his second term as Prime Minister Credit: PA

David Cameron will be in Wales later - his first visit to the country since winning the General Election last Thursday.

The Prime Minister is thought to be meeting with senior Conservative members.

Business leaders here have called for Mr Cameron to make changes for the benefit of Wales.

If I had the ear of the Prime Minister I'd be asking him to obviously create a better deal for us here in Wales, to maintain our relationship with Europe, which is crucially important for businesses up and down Wales - but also to strengthen our negotiating hand in terms of some of the laws which businesses find a bit onerous.

– Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Institute of Directors


Cameron 'expects' Wales Bill in Queen's Speech

The Cabinet meets for the first time since the General Election, with Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb expected to have a Wales Bill ready for the Queen's Speech Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA

Welsh Government sources say David Cameron has told Carwyn Jones that he expects the Queen's Speech to include a Wales Bill devolving further powers to the Welsh Government and Assembly.

The Prime Minister and First Minister had a "cordial" phone conversation, in which David Cameron seemed surprised by suggestions from opposition parties that the bill won't be included in the legislative programme read out by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament.

The two men are said to have spoken about the work they need to do together to secure the future of the United Kingdom, as well as other devolution issues. Carwyn Jones will meet Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb later this week for the first time since the election.

Bill to ensure safe nurse staffing levels 'needs amending'

A bill to make sure there are safe nurse staffing levels across Wales needs amending in order to avoid possible 'unintended consequences'. The National Assembly's health committee also says current nurse shortages may be a 'significant barrier' to implementing the bill.

The Bill aims to ensure nurses are deployed in sufficient numbers to provide safe nursing care. Credit: PA

The Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill, introduced by Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams AM in December 2014, aims to ensure that nurses are deployed in sufficient numbers to deliver safe nursing care to patients at all times.

It also seeks to address the conclusions of recent high-profile reports on the performance of the NHS in England and Wales which have drawn attention to the importance of nurse staffing levels for patient outcomes.

The committee says it supports the bill's aim, but has made 19 recommendations it believes should be implemented before the legislation is passed.

Many of the recommendations focus on the committee's concerns that the bill could lead to a number of unintended consequences, not least the risk of diverting nursing staff from one hospital setting to another.

The Bill was introduced in 2013 by Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams. Credit: PA

The committee is also concerned that current nurse shortages may be a significant barrier to the successful implementation of the Bill's provisions.

The pivotal role of nurses in the delivery of high quality, effective care for patients is widely acknowledged and the committee welcomed the opportunity to scrutinise the bill...we believe that a number of amendments are required before this legislation is passed, not least to mitigate some of the potentially significant unintended consequences that could be created by the bill as currently drafted.

– David Rees AM, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee

Kirsty Williams has said she is 'looking forward' to giving consideration to the Committees' recommendations on the proposed amendments.

I am very grateful to the Health and Social Care Committee and the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee for their consideration of the general principles of this legislation, and to the wide range of stakeholders who gave up their time and expertise to speak with them about it. I am particularly pleased that the health committee has concluded that legislation on safe nurse staffing levels could be beneficial, and would build on existing tools and powers in this area.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader
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