Welsh language to be allowed in MPs' Welsh Grand Committee

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Houses of ParliamentImage source, PA

MPs will be allowed to speak Welsh in some parliamentary debates under UK government plans.

Ministers are to bring forward changes in Parliament enabling MPs to use the language when the Welsh Grand Committee meets in Westminster.

Currently, MPs can only speak Welsh in the Welsh Affairs select committee.

The UK government had previously rejected calls to overturn rules prohibiting members from speaking Welsh.

The Welsh Grand Committee meets occasionally to discuss issues relevant to Wales and includes its 40 MPs.

It last met in 2016 and MPs have used Welsh when the committee has met in Wales.

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said: "I hope that MPs who can speak Welsh will choose to use this service in order to help promote the Welsh language across Parliament."

Ministers are proposing the change in a motion that will be tabled during government time in the Commons.

The move does not change the rules as they apply to general House of Commons debates.

The cost of translation services - both interpreters and headsets - will be absorbed within Parliament's existing budgets, the UK government said.