The Welsh Government’s ‘hard-line tribalism’ is paralysing the legislature in Wales, according to the Welsh Conservatives.
The claims were made by Welsh Conservative Leader – Paul Davies AM – during First Minister’s questions.
Paul Davies AM slammed the Welsh Government’s approach to last week’s vote on the proposed Autism Bill, which Mr Davies himself had put forward to the Assembly. He called the outcome of the vote a ‘disgrace’ which was caused by ‘tribalism for tribalism’s sake’.
The bill, developed alongside the National Autistic Society, had intended to provide people with autism a statutory right to receive timely services to meet their needs. It was hoped the bill would also help improve understanding of the condition.
Despite the Bill receiving widespread support amongst the political parties and stakeholders in Wales, the Welsh Government voted against it and whipped backbench Labour members into doing the same. Two non-Labour Government Members, also voted against the Bill despite standing on manifesto commitments to deliver autism legislation.
The Bill was defeated by 28 votes to 24, with both Plaid Cymru and UKIP supporting the Welsh Conservatives in their pursuit to get the Bill passed.
Speaking following First Minister’s Questions, the Preseli Pembrokeshire AM said:
“There is a growing culture within this Government and within the Labour Party which restricts its members from engaging with proposals that come from the opposite benches, no matter how much support the proposals have externally.
“It’s a culture which is paralysing the purpose of this Assembly.
“I hope that the Welsh Government reflect on this when my colleague Darren Millar puts forward his Older People’s Rights Bill tomorrow because this was a particular piece of legislation that the Welsh Government indicated its support for in 2016.
“A better Wales is going to be delivered through constructive and co-operative working amongst all Parties in this institution, not through tribalism for tribalism’s sake.”