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Campaigners protest for Welsh-only name for National Assembly

Politicians will vote for a final time next week on the Bill that will change the name of the Assembly.

A protest in support of a Welsh-only name for the Senedd has been held in Cardiff Bay.

Assembly Members rejected the motion last month, voting to give Welsh Parliament a bilingual name, but the final vote will be held next week.

Campaigners Cymdeithas yr Iaith said giving the Senedd a Welsh-only name would "send a message about its status" in Wales.

It’s a question about the Welsh language’s place in public life. Over recent years, we have seen more and more attacks on the use of the language, partly because of the rise of the far right. Far too many people argue or accept that using Welsh is not normal or inclusive.

We believe ‘Senedd’ is a name that can unite us all, and it’s clear that the people of Wales strongly support that too. If we can all say “Dáil” or “Bundestag” without the need for an official English name, why can’t we do the same with Senedd? We call on our politicians to show confidence in our unique language, confidence in Wales and all its people – whether they speak Welsh or not.

– David Williams, Cymdeithas yr Iaith
AMs voted against the Welsh-only name 'Senedd', meaning parliament, last month.

Some of Wales' famous names have also backed the campaign.

Rugby referee Nigel Owens tweeted "we should be proud of our language. Y Senedd is a perfect name for Y Senedd."

Singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews also reacted to the proposal.

"Senedd is easy and works fine. Can’t believe we need to waste anymore time on this when there are so many pressing issues that really deserve this time, energy and attention."

Nigel Owens and Cerys Matthews are among some of Wales' stars to back a Welsh-only name for the Senedd. Credit: PA Images

The move to make the name for the National Assembly bilingual was tabled by the former first minister Carwyn Jones.

Politicians have given a very patronising response to say that using the monolingual name isn't accessible but in truth we know that the Welsh language is something to unite us all here in Wales, and it's really important that we do this as a symbolic act.

– Bethan Ruth, campaigner

Politicians will vote for a final time next week on the Bill that will change the name of the Assembly.

Earlier this year, the Assembly Commission introduced the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill, which also promised to give 16 and 17 year olds the chance to vote for the first time in the Assembly elections.

Should the Welsh Assembly's new name be bilingual?