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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back to business

Things are starting to slowly settle down in the Assembly and about time too. Yesterday's Plenary meeting was almost back to business as usual with three opposition debates. And it was not short on the odd confrontational moment, not least when we got down to discussing the economy. Here is an exchange between Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Kirsty Williams and Tory leadership hopeful, Andrew R.T. Davies:

Kirsty Williams: My colleagues Peter Black and Bill Powell will speak at great length on the details around enterprise zones and tax increment financing—

Andrew R.T. Davies: Anyone else?

Kirsty Williams: Andrew, I would have thought that you of all the people would realise that it is not size that matters, but quality. [Laughter.] As I said, my colleagues will go on to talk about the individual programmes in greater detail.

The tour de force however belonged to Conservative Assembly Member, Mark Isherwood in the previous debate, which got a bit rowdy and tested the new Deputy Presiding Officer to the limit:

Mark Isherwood: I start by congratulating the Welsh Labour Government for having conducted an election campaign that managed to avoid reference to 12 years of failed Labour-led Welsh Government. The campaign takes them back to 2003, with the same number of Members, an almost identical share of the vote and no overall majority, so congratulations there. You have treated Wales and the people of Wales with contempt— [Interruption.]

The Deputy Presiding Officer: Order. Mark Isherwood, sit down for a moment. Can we have a bit more decorum? Even the new Members seem to be getting overexcited. I want to hear what the Member has to say.

Mark Isherwood: As a certain lance-corporal used to say, 'They don’t like it up ’em’. [Laughter.]

Perhaps he should look up the word 'decorum' before the next Plenary session.
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