Lord Speaker visits Senedd for the first time
30 March 2022
The Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith, visited the Welsh Parliament (Senedd) on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March, in the first visit of its kind by a Speaker of the House of Lords.
Since taking office in 2021, the Lord Speaker has held meetings with the Speakers and Presiding Officers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. He has also visited the Northern Irish Assembly and intends to visit Holyrood later this year.
Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Rt Hon. Elin Jones MS, Lord McFall of Alcluith, David Rees MS and Rhys ab Owen MS.
In Cardiff, the Lord Speaker met with the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Parliament, the Llywydd Rt Hon. Elin Jones MS, Deputy Presiding Officer David Rees MS, Chair of the Senedd Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Alun Davies MS and Rhys ab Owen MS. They discussed how Westminster can work more closely with the Senedd, particularly in scrutinising new and emerging constitutional arrangements.
Lord McFall of Alcluith’s priority as Lord Speaker is to increase engagement between Westminster and the other parliaments and assemblies of the UK, and to enhance opportunities for collaboration. He recently convened the first meeting of the Interparliamentary Forum, at which Huw Irranca-Davies MS represented the Senedd.
The Interparliamentary Forum is made up of members of the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, Northern Ireland Assembly, House of Commons and House of Lords and aims to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the legislatures of the devolved nations and Westminster. At the recent meeting hosted by the Lord Speaker, the group agreed to focus on scrutiny of international trade agreements, the UK internal market and the impact of new constitutional arrangements on the legislative process.
The Lord Speaker said:
'We’ve got to redouble our efforts of reaching out and engaging with all parts of the UK. Our parliamentary colleagues in the Senedd are a key part of that, and I enjoyed meeting with the Llywydd and her Deputy, and with members of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee to discuss opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.'
Former Secretary of State for Wales and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Lord Hain, said:
'I very much applaud this visit. At a time when there is tension between parts of the UK and Westminster, the more engagement there can be between the different legislatures the better.'