The Board met on 8 December to give initial consideration to matters relating to the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, as published on 1 December.
The Board noted the Llywydd’s statement and the joint legal opinion of Lord Pannick QC and Marlena Valles, shared by the Llywydd on 7 December. The Board noted that for the purposes of the Determination, Plaid Cymru is not considered a party represented in Government and therefore no immediate changes apply to the Plaid Cymru Leader and the support available to the party through the Determination. The Board noted, however, that:
- the Co-operation Agreement is a novel political arrangement for the Senedd; and
- the Board retains the right to propose amendments to the Determination (subject to consultation) to change allowances if the evidence demands it.
Since the Board’s meeting, the Llywydd has today shared her conclusions on the implications of the Agreement, and its associated mechanisms, for Senedd Business. This will inform the Board’s considerations.
The Board has agreed that it needs more time and information before being able to draw conclusions about the impact of the Co-operation Agreement on provisions within the Determination. The Agreement raises a number of questions for the Board, including in relation to the role of the Designated Member(s) and the impact of the Agreement on the political party support allowance. It is important that the Board is able to consider carefully the evidence in relation to these matters. The Board has already committed to reviewing the political party support allowance during this Senedd term, and its consideration of the Co-operation Agreement’s implications will help inform that work.
The Board is, as always, committed to engaging with Senedd parties as part of this work to inform its view on this matter.