AMs back Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament for new assembly name

National Assembly Image copyright Getty Images Image caption AMs have backed calling the assembly Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament

AMs have backed renaming the assembly, calling it both Senedd Cymru and Welsh Parliament, in a vote on Wednesday.

A majority of AMs rejected the Welsh-only name Senedd and backed former first-minister Carwyn Jones’s proposals for a bilingual name.

But proposals to call AMs Members of Senedd Cymru or Member of Welsh Parliament were both rejected – the former by a knife edge.

A total of 43 AMs backed Mr Jones’ plan, versus 13 against.

Members of the assembly rejected a vote calling for the name to be purely Senedd, backed by Plaid Cymru and some Labour members, 16 for, 38 against, and with one abstention.

The assembly is debating the Senedd and Elections bill, which also brings in votes at 16-and-17 in assembly elections.

The Brexit Party’s Caroline Jones’s tried to have the latter removed but this was rejected by 45 against. 11 – understood to have included Brexit Party and Conservative AMs – had backed the amendments.

The votes are not the final stage in the passage of the bill through the assembly, but are a major part of the process.

Former first minister Carwyn Jones’s proposal for a bilingual name had sparked debate – supporters of the name Senedd have included BBC News presenter Huw Edwards.

The debate opened on Wednesday with Rhun ap Iorwerth of Plaid Cymru, who was backed by Labour’s Hefin David and Mike Hedges in wanting to call the assembly simply Senedd.

The name is already used for the building in Cardiff Bay that houses the assembly chamber.

Skip Twitter post by @huwbbc

‘Senedd’ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is the widely-accepted Welsh word for the principal democratic body in Wales Haven’t AMs got much bigger issues to tackle in today’s Wales? || Huw Edwards joins backlash over bilingual name for Welsh Senedd

— Huw Edwards (@huwbbc) October 5, 2019


End of Twitter post by @huwbbc

Mr ap Iorwerth said Senedd is a “word that is of Wales, a word rooted in the Welsh language, a word that is bilingual in its application”.

He said it “belongs to us all”.

Mr Jones, Labour AM for Bridgend, had been supported by the Welsh Government.

He said he himself would use the term Senedd, but his amendments made it clear in law that Senedd Cymru is Welsh Parliament.

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