Election 2015 Wales

'No AMs increase' says Tory candidate Alun Cairns

Alun Cairns
Image caption Alun Cairns said there was 'no way' he would argue for more assembly members

A UK government minister has dismissed calls for more assembly members during a BBC general election debate.

Conservative candidate Alun Cairns brushed off claims more AMs were needed to cope with the additional powers being devolved to Cardiff Bay.

The assembly's presiding officer Rosemary Butler has called for the number of AMs to rise from 60 to 80.

But Mr Cairns said he wanted to "reduce the cost of politics", including having fewer MPs.

"There is no way in the world that I'm ever going to argue for more assembly members," the Wales Office minister said.

Lib Dem candidate Jenny Willott said: "The assembly members are really struggling at the moment to provide the level of scrutiny that we deserve in Wales."

Devolution recommendations

UKIP candidate Blair Smillie said: "I think one of the ways if you want to increase AMs is to get rid of MEPs, because if you go on the doorstep and you ask the people why would they want to ask a question of their MEPs they're stuck."

The all-party Silk Commission proposed increasing the size of the assembly. It also made a number of other recommendations for more devolution.

Plaid Cymru candidate Osian Lewis said all parties had "compromised" as part of the exercise, but said "the UK parties have reneged on those promises and cherry-picked report".

Labour candidate Nia Griffith backed Welsh government plans for local government reorganisation.

"I think the first things we've got on the agenda at the moment is getting the councils sorted out," she said.

More on this story