Politicians look back on 18 and a bit years of change

Glyn Davies and Lord Hain
Image caption Glyn Davies and Lord Hain give me their views of Welsh politics since the 1997 referendum

It's a big year for 20th anniversaries. In May it was 20 years since Tony Blair swept to power. And 20 years of continuous Labour rule in Wales.

And, as you may have noticed, it was 20 years ago this week that Wales voted, by a narrow margin, for devolution. The actual powers weren't transferred until July 1999 but no-one celebrates an "18 years and a bit" anniversary so it has offered a timely opportunity for the media to take stock.

Huw Edwards ends his documentary by concluding that the fragility of the original result has become "something far more solid". He adds: "The existence of a National Assembly, the Welsh Government, regardless of the debate about policy, is widely accepted. The very idea of devolution - once so divisive and controversial - is hardly questioned."

Scrutiny

And a lot of the coverage of the 20th anniversary has indeed been focused on what has been delivered and how Wales has changed since 1997 rather than testing the arguments - or the numbers - put forward during the referendum campaign.

Politicians (and statisticians) are still arguing over the claims, counter-claims and sums from last year's European referendum but there has been relatively little scrutiny of the arguments made during the 1997 vote.

Read full article Politicians look back on 18 and a bit years of change

The leadership contest no-one is talking about

David Cornock interviewing Sir Vince Cable

Greetings from Bournemouth, which tells you that, for me, it's the start of the party conference season.

Unlike the last Liberal Democrat gathering in Wales, the Lib Dems have decided to let the media in for their autumn UK conference.

Read full article The leadership contest no-one is talking about

New minister yet to work in Wales since starting job

Lord Duncan of Springbank
Image caption Wales Office Minister Lord Duncan takes the oath in the House of Lords watched by a couple of Welsh peers.

Meet the new parliamentary under secretary of state for Wales.

Lord (Ian) Duncan of Springbank was apparently appointed to the role in June, but the Wales Office didn't exactly trumpet their new minister.

Read full article New minister yet to work in Wales since starting job

All-male committee set to welcome women MPs

Why are women MPs to keen to join the all-male select committee on Welsh affairs? Some of the potential new recruits aren't even called Davies.

Shortly after I reported the row over the original line-up, and over the reluctance of Welsh Labour MPs to join it, Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi tweeted "both @AnnaMcMorrin and myself are on the committee".

Read full article All-male committee set to welcome women MPs

Committee roles for Davies, Davies, Davies (and Davies)

David Davies MP
Image caption Fighting fit: Monmouth Tory MP David T.C.Davies (left) is struggling to recruit members to his committee.

It's the main forum for Welsh issues at Westminster. So why are MPs so reluctant to join it?

It appears that the Commons select committee on Welsh affairs will initially be established with just six members, all men. It usually has 11, the maximum allowed.

Read full article Committee roles for Davies, Davies, Davies (and Davies)

Lib Dems defend banning media from party conference

Kirsty Williams, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander Image copyright Liberal Democrats

The first word of their values statement is "open". And they have a new UK leader to sell to the voters.

So why did the Welsh Liberal Democrats decide to hold their autumn conference in private?

Read full article Lib Dems defend banning media from party conference

Bercow a cut above as trainspotter Cairns challenged

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionChristina Rees commended House of Commons speaker John Bercow on his new haircut

Did you miss them?

This was the first time Wales Office Ministers Alun Cairns and Guto Bebb have answered MPs questions since the general election. In fact, the last Welsh question time in the House of Commons took place in April.

Read full article Bercow a cut above as trainspotter Cairns challenged

Welsh MPs 'star' in musical version of Commons inquiry

musical Image copyright Manuel Harlan
Image caption Spot the Welsh MP: a scene from 'Committee' at the Donmar Warehouse

If the transcript of a parliamentary select committee hearing were an obvious candidate for a musical then Andrew Lloyd Webber would probably have got there first.

But Lord Lloyd-Webber has left the stage clear for the creative brains behind Committee or The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall's Relationship With Kids Company - to give the musical its full title.

Read full article Welsh MPs 'star' in musical version of Commons inquiry

Women's voices 'rarely heard' in Brexit debate

Jo Stevens MP
Image caption "I rarely heard women's voices, despite our best efforts to be heard" - Jo Stevens on the Brexit referendum

I know what you're thinking. But no, I'm not one of those BBC staffers on £150,000-plus a year.

But before you drown me with your unwarranted sympathy, let's talk about the last Westminster debate about Wales before heavily-fatigued MPs depart for their long summer recess.

Read full article Women's voices 'rarely heard' in Brexit debate

The Repeal Bill, a 'power grab' and a maiden speech

Ben Lake MP
Image caption "We can also justifiably claim to be the capital of Welsh culture" - Ceredigion MP Ben Lake delivers his maiden speech in the House of Commons

There's no disguising the frustration in UK government circles over the reaction from Cardiff to its "great repeal Bill" - formally known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Carwyn Jones dropped in on EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier today before issuing a joint statement with Nicola Sturgeon condemning the "naked power grab" of the legislation. That statement prompted UKIP to accuse Mr Jones of "crossing the road to pick a fight".

Read full article The Repeal Bill, a 'power grab' and a maiden speech