COVID passes are being introduced in Wales because an opposition MS was unable to take part in the crucial vote over Zoom. 

The Labour government, which only has half the seats in the Senedd, had looked set to lose this evening’s crunch vote as the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and sole Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds had all said they would vote against mandatory Covid passes. 

But Conservative MS for the Vale of Clwyd Gareth Davies had been unable to vote due to a technical problem. He had been taking part in the meeting remotely while attending the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Mr Davies is expected to make a statement to the Senedd this afternoon.

Once members voted the government’s plan was approved with 28 voting in favour and 27 against. 

However just before the vote took place Darren Millar, Conservative MS for Clwyd West, pleaded with the presiding officer that the vote should be delayed. 

He was heard telling llywydd Elin Jones: "There's one member still desperately trying to get into Zoom."  

But Jones replied: "No - we have made every opportunity possible for that member to get in." 

READ MORE: Covid Pass protest to take place ahead of Senedd debate

The Senedd’s ‘hybrid’ format allows the parliament to operate with some members attending the siamber in Cardiff Bay and others taking part remotely, usually from their homes or offices. 

Following confirmation that the change in the law, requiring the passes, has been approved Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorweth wrote on Twitter: “Hybrid Senedd working works. The electronic voting system works. But unless there’s very good reason and/or with advance approval (away on Senedd business, perhaps) I think you should be able to vote only from your offices at home/Senedd/constituency. (Not e.g. party conference.)”

 

The location of the Senedd member who could not vote on Tuesday evening had not been confirmed.

Had the vote been tied, by convention, the llywydd would have voted against a change to the law or for further debate. 

While questions will be asked of how the vote occurred the Welsh Government will be aware it’s legislation passed due to a technical glitch and would have been lost otherwise. 

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