The Welsh Assembly
From 1986 to 1997, Wales was represented in government by the cabinet position of the Secretary of State for Wales at Westminster. However, after the 1997 general election Prime Minister Tony Blair and the new Labour government enabled a referendum in which 50.3 percent of the electorate voted for the creation of the National Assembly for Wales.
Subsequently in 1998 the institution was ratified by the Government of Wales Act and power was devolved from Westminster. The Assembly is comprised of 60 members, forty of whom represent geographical regions or constituencies, and twenty representing electoral regions. The former group are elected by the same system as MP’s to the House of Commons, whereas the latter are decided upon by a version of proportional representation.
Members of the Assembly are elected for a period of five years and although its powers were negligible at the outset in 1997, as a result of a Yes vote in a referendum in 2011, it became possible for the Assembly to legislate without the endorsement of Westminster in the 20 devolved regions.
Theresa May might have hoped, that as she confronts the weighty matters of the day, like Brexit, that she could count on her ministers to take care of business on the domestic front. However, the Northern Rail crisis is becoming a real béte…