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Thursday, December 02, 2004

And here's to you, Mrs. Windsor

The Assembly achieved a new low yesterday with a Plaid Cymru AM being excluded for the last half hour of the session because she referred to the Queen as Mrs. Windsor. Interestingly the objection came not from the Tories - those I spoke to seemed largely indifferent about it - but from Rhondda Labour Assembly Member, Leighton Andrews:

Leighton Andrews: I regret having to raise the issue but, during the course of the previous debate, Leanne Wood referred to the Queen as ‘Mrs Windsor’. Will you take advice as to whether this is in order? I am sure that in a week when the Queen has been in Cardiff to open the Wales Millennium Centre, my constituents, and others, will consider the remark to be childish and offensive.
The Presiding Officer: I was pleased to welcome Her Majesty the Queen to the Wales Millennium Centre, as I have been pleased to welcome her to the National Assembly. I did not hear the remark, but I have consulted the record and taken further advice, and I would be grateful if Leanne Wood could withdraw the remark, on grounds of discourtesy.
Leanne Wood: I dispute the fact that it is discourteous, Presiding Officer.
The Presiding Officer: You cannot dispute it, because it is my ruling.
Leanne Wood: I am not minded to withdraw the remark, Presiding Officer.
The Presiding Officer: In which case, I must ask you to withdraw from proceedings for the remainder of the day, in accordance with Standing Order No. 7.8.

There had been a lot of discourtesy expressed in the previous three hours of course leading at one point to the Presiding Officer telling us that "I will not have the Assembly deteriorate to the level of the House of Commons." Nobody however, was thrown out for that.

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