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Flags lowered as minute's silence observed in Senedd

The flags were lowered to half-mast outside the Senedd Credit: Nick Powell

AMs, Assembly staff and visitors have held a minute's silence in solidarity with MPs, who were also remembering those killed in the terrorist attack on Westminster.

It took place at 09:33, the same time as the minute's silence in the House of Commons. Meetings of Assembly committees were paused and the flags outside the Senedd lowered to half-mast.

AMs and officials paused for a minute's silence at meetings in the Senedd Credit: Senedd TV

We expect Assembly business to proceed as planned. Our security service and the police are working closely together. The police have increased the presence of armed officers around the Assembly estate and surrounding area as a precaution.

– Presiding Officer Elin Jones AM

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Dippy the Diplodocus is to visit the Senedd

Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Dippy the Diplodocus sets off on a time-shifting tour of the UK in early 2018, bringing a flavour of the Jurassic to eight carefully selected venues across the UK including the National Assembly of Wales.

The 70ft plaster-cast sauropod replica has dominated the Natural History Museum's Hintze hall since 1979.

Then a decision was taken to retire Dippy from 2017 and replace him with the real skeleton of a blue whale.

The move went viral on social media with the launch of a Twitter campaign under the hashtag SaveDippy. More than 32,000 people signed a petition calling on the museum to change its mind.

The installation will attract thousands of people to the Senedd, the home of Welsh democracy. Working with our partners, we will provide unique learning experiences, linked to sustainability and science, for people of all ages.

We will also provide further opportunities for visitors to discuss Wales’s past and present and have a say about our nation’s future.

– Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales

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  1. Nick Powell

Senedd hit by power cut

Proceedings have been interrupted twice this afternoon Credit: Senedd TV

A debate in the Senedd has been halted twice by a power cut. During a debate on the NHS, the lights went out during a speech in Welsh by the Plaid Cymru health spokesperson, Elin Jones. The simultaneous translation into English was cut off and the sitting was briefly suspended. When AMs resumed their debate Conservative Angela Burns was interrupted by a second power failure. She was able to conclude her speech after a delay lasting about 15 minutes.

Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd joked on Twitter that he'd always said the Assembly needed more power. Labour minister Leighton Andrews preferred to tweet that the Assembly had experienced a "power surge".

Ten facts you may not know about the Senedd

It is most often known for its reviews of hotels and restaurants but the website Trip Advisor has given a certificate of excellence to the National Assembly of Wales building.

Credit: PA

Here are some facts about the building that you may not know:

  • It cost almost £70m
  • It is one of the most environmentally friendly parliament buildings in the world
  • It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on St David's Day in 2006.
  • It has a design life of 100 years
  • It uses geothermal energy for heating
  • Rainwater from the roof is used to flush the toilets
  • It has a biomass boiler
  • The desks for AMs are made of Welsh Oak
  • Cardiff's Coal Exchange was in the running for hosting the Assembly
  • It was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners
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