EVEL debate: 'We are a nonsense but somehow it works'

Madeleine Moon MP
Madeleine Moon: "The history of these islands is one of constitutional abnormalities"

MPs have finished a three-hour debate on the government's plans for "English votes for English laws".

The opposition parties won a vote at the end by 291 votes to 2 after the Conservatives abstained. Commons leader Chris Grayling defended the proposals to limit the voting rights of MPs from outside England on new laws that affect England alone.

The result of today's vote on a technicality may be insignificant but the concerns voiced by several Conservative MPs suggest next week's vote on whether or not to change the House of Commons rules is not a foregone conclusion.

Beyond the partisan arguments over the issue, there is widespread anger over the way it is being done - via a change to standing orders - and the speed of change (a vote next Wednesday less than two weeks after details of the changes were first unveiled).

Several MPs from Wales spoke during today's debate. Bridgend Labour MP Madeleine Moon said: "The history of these islands is one of constitutional abnormalities. We are a nonsense but somehow it works and it works because in this chamber we are all equal no matter where in the United Kingdom you come from. Therefore to destroy that is nonsense."

Read full article EVEL debate: 'We are a nonsense but somehow it works'

English Votes for English Laws explained

Diagram of English Votes for English Laws
English Votes for English Laws - an outline of the model for a Bill starting in the House of Commons

What do you mean, it looks complicated? The diagram is from the government's "explanatory guide" to its plans for "English votes for English laws".

It's a tale of vetoes, legislative grand committees, double majorities and "tablet computers" in division lobbies.

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The English question: the Delyn or Denbigh dilemma?

Therese Coffey MP
Deputy Commons Leader Therese Coffey

MPs have spent 90 minutes grappling with what is increasingly called the English question.

As the government prepares to unveil plans for "English votes for English laws", MPs have been debating what EVEL would mean for North Wales.

Read full article The English question: the Delyn or Denbigh dilemma?

Six-figure 'golden goodbye' for Wales Office official

Stephen Hillcoat
Former Wales Office civil servant Stephen Hillcoat - who received £133,000 in redundancy pay.

A Wales Office civil servant received £133,000 in redundancy pay after Stephen Crabb replaced David Jones as secretary of state.

The department's newly-published annual report and accounts reveals that Stephen Hillcoat was replaced as "deputy director, private office and communications" within 24 hours of Mr Crabb's appointment in July last year after the new man restructured his private office.

Read full article Six-figure 'golden goodbye' for Wales Office official

Labour leadership hopeful under fire over Welsh funding

Andy Burnham MP
"That was the government line at the time" - Andy Burnham explaining why he refused to review the Barnett formula.

I've been talking to the candidates for the labour leadership as they prepare for Welsh hustings in Cardiff on July 5.

You can get a flavour of the interviews here. Andy Burnham's comments on the way Wales is funded from Westminster were the most likely to raise eyebrows.

Read full article Labour leadership hopeful under fire over Welsh funding

Swansea rail scheme 'top priority' but no delivery date

An artist's impression of the new trains for the Swansea route
Coming not very soon to a station near you: the fast train to Swansea

When will the first train arrive on an electrified line in Swansea?

The Network Rail website (download the FAQs) says: "Cardiff to be electrified by May 2017, Swansea to be electrified by May 2018".

Read full article Swansea rail scheme 'top priority' but no delivery date

'Prayer cards at dawn' in Plaid Cymru/Lib Dem seat row

Jonathan Edwards MP
Spot the Lib Dem: Plaid Cymru parliamentary leader Jonathan Edwards speaks from the disputed bench

Seat wars, round two. Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats are at odds over who gets to sit where in the House of Commons.

Peace may have broken out in a similar row between the SNP and Labour veteran Dennis Skinner but Plaid's three MPs and the Lib Dems' eight are in daily battle over the right to perch on the end of the bench three rows behind Mr Skinner's preferred seat.

Read full article 'Prayer cards at dawn' in Plaid Cymru/Lib Dem seat row

FM Jones: dealing with '17 years and time for change'

Carwyn Jones and Yvette Cooper
First Minister Carwyn Jones meets Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper

Another of the Labour leadership candidates has visited Wales today. But what Yvette Cooper had to say may be slightly less interesting than what her host - First Minister Carwyn Jones - said during her visit to Cardiff Bay.

Our cameras filmed the two politicians, as Mr Jones briefed Ms Cooper on the challenges facing Welsh Labour in next year's assembly elections.

Read full article FM Jones: dealing with '17 years and time for change'

Minister: Nobody on doorstep talks of Barnett formula

Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Lord Bourne: "Nobody on the doorsteps talks about reserved powers or the Barnett formula....they certainly talk about funding for Wales."

You wait months for a House of Lords debate on Welsh devolution - and then two come along at once.

Hot on the heels of last Thursday's debate led by Lord Wigley, Liberal Democrat former Wales Office Minister Lady Randerson led last night's debate on the National Assembly for Wales elections 2016.

Read full article Minister: Nobody on doorstep talks of Barnett formula

MP warns of 'museum/playground' risk in rural Wales

Liz Saville Roberts MP
Liz Saville Roberts MP making her maiden speech- as seen on BBC Parliament, watched by Plaid parliamentary leader Jonathan Edwards

Plaid Cymru's newest MP has made her maiden speech in the House of Commons - in a debate on English education.

Liz Saville Roberts used her 22 years' work "as a teacher, college director and local authority education leader" to highlight the importance of education.

Read full article MP warns of 'museum/playground' risk in rural Wales