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Call for fewer Lords - and more AMs

The Electoral Reform Society Cymru has reacted to the naming of two new Welsh members of the House of Lords - both former AMs - by calling for a cut in the size of the Upper Chamber at Westminster and for a bigger Assembly in Cardiff Bay,

The society describes Nick Bourne and Christine Humphreys as "the latest additions to the already cramped red benches". Its director says they will both bring their knowledge of devolution to the Lords but "this isn't about individuals, it's about the system".

At a time when Wales is debating whether we have enough Assembly Members to pass laws and hold Welsh Ministers to account, it’s disappointing that the UK Government has added 30 new peers to an already bloated House of Lords. Money would be better spent on a radically slimmed down, elected UK upper house and a larger, more effective National Assembly.

We need to ensure we have enough AMs to scrutinise how £15 billion of public money is spent and how laws are made. A UK Constitutional Convention should look at implementing wholescale reform of how the UK is governed, including an elected upper house. It’s something all four party leaders in Wales should sign-up to before the general election.

– Director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru Steve Brooks

Give Wales power over elections, say campaigners

The Electoral Reform Society, which campaigns for electoral change, says the Queen's speech should include a bill which transfers power over elections to the Welsh Government. The Society's Director in Wales, Steve Brooks, says:

We hope the UK Government will announce plans to bring forward legislation to boost democracy in Wales. The Society would warmly welcome a Bill that reverses the ban on dual candidacy, and devolves power over local and Assembly elections to Wales.

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With just two years to go before the next General Election, this is possibly the last opportunity to make progress on devolution before the parties inevitably focus all their efforts on the forthcoming electoral battle.

– Steve Brooks, Director, Electoral Reform Society Wales