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Wales Bill 2013-14
The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons by Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones, on 20 March 2014.
In May 2012, the Wales Office published a green paper on future electoral arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales (Cm 8357) which sought views on the following:
- Whether the link between parliamentary constituencies and constituencies for elections to the National Assembly for Wales, a link broken as a result of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, should be reinstated
- Whether the length of an Assembly term should be moved from four to five years
- Whether the prohibition on a candidate at an Assembly election standing in both a constituency and a region should endWhether Assembly members should not also be able to sit in Parliament
The consultation ended in August 2012, and the Wales Office published a summary of consultation responses in November 2012.
The Bill aims to:
- Move the National Assembly for Wales from four to five-year fixed terms to reduce the likelihood of Assembly elections coinciding with Parliamentary elections
- Allowing candidates for elections to the National Assembly for Wales to stand in both a constituency and on a regional list.
- Preventing Assembly members from being MPs
The First Minister of Wales welcomed the Draft Wales Bill as a "potential vehicle of implementing the recommendations from Silk Part One" but argued electoral arrangements "should be dealt with in Wales by assembly members."
The Bill will extend to Wales only.
The House of Commons second reading took place on 31 March 2014. After a short debate, the Bill was read for the second time and passed to a Committee of the Whole House.