The Assembly committee charged with scrutinising the order to devolve Welsh language powers to the Assembly published its report on Friday. I was Plaid's member on the committee, which agreed unanimously that the order we scrutinised doesn't go far enough, and that the Assembly should have the widest powers possible. It makes sense no sense for the UK government to have the powers to legislate on the Welsh language now that the assembly has law-making powers.
Gordon's cabinet reshuffle ensured the report got virtually no coverage in the press. I issued the following statement:
"This report is great news, it's another sign that politics in Wales has moved on from the days when the language was a political football. After receiving hundreds of consultation responses, the overwhelming weight of evidence we have received favours decisions on the Welsh language to be taken in Wales. The fact that all parties in the Assembly have signed up to this report is a major breakthrough. We are calling for a strengthening of the legislative competence order (LCO), meaning its passage should be a straightforward matter.
If any attempt were made to water-down the One Wales government's powers-bid, it would be a severe blow to devolution. The draft LCO that our committee scrutinised was a compromise between two parties in government and then a further compromise between two governments, a compromise which took 18 months to agree. The evidence we heard and the consultations responses we received were overwhelmingly supportive of the Assembly having the widest possible powers over the language, and our report reflects this."
Paul Murphy as Secretary of State was widely expected to try to water down the LCO, reducing the Assembly's ability to make laws to safeguard our language. With a new Secretary of State for Wales can we expect a new Wales Office position?