Headlines: April 16th, 2008

The planned All-Wales Convention, which will lead the debate on whether the Welsh Assembly should have full law making powers, has moved a step nearer. The Assembly’s First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, and Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones have welcomed the handing over of the report from the Establishing Committee for the Convention.

The document details the terms of reference for the Convention and suggests ways in which it might operate when it begins work in the summer. Mr. Morgan and Mr. Wyn Jones have accepted the report’s recommendations and in the near future they will set out what steps need to be taken to implement them.

The commitment to setting up the Convention was made in the One Wales agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru. The aim of the new body is to create a national debate on full law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly and to assess what support there may be for a future referendum. The possibility of a referendum to be held on the question of whether the Assembly should be given full law-making powers was included in the 2006 Government of Wales Act.

Rhodri Morgan said the Establishing Committee had completed their work quickly and efficiently, paving the way for the Convention, and Ieuan Wyn Jones added, “I’m delighted that by the summer the All Wales Convention will be able to start work in earnest, gathering information and views from organisations and ordinary members of the public in all corners of Wales.”

A former British Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, has already been appointed chairman of the Convention.