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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Holding the Welsh Government to account or how a bill was lost because of a personal slur

In the end it took a cheap political jibe to bring Plaid Cymru to their senses and oppose unevidenced proposals that should never have been in the Public Health Bill in the first place.

For possibly only the first or second time during this Assembly the combined opposition flexed its muscles and did the job it is there for, holding the Government to account, scrutinising its legislation and opposing misconceived and unsupportable measures.

The bill itself was flawed in my view. The inclusion of a partial ban on vaping was unnecessary and was not supported by the evidence. Many Plaid Cymru members recognised that and voted accordingly, but there were two or three who were prepared to support Labour's nanny-statism.

If the government had responded to the concerns expressed from all parties and removed the vaping ban the bill would have passed easily.

I have said on many occasions over the course of this Assembly that the minority Labour Government have had too easy a ride because the opposition has failed to work together to hold them to account. When we finally did get our act together it was on the last day and in some cases, for all the wrong reasons.

We really do need to do better in the fifth Assembly.
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