A SPECIAL committee is being established to look at Senedd reform including the possibility of increasing the numbers of Senedd Members. 

The committee will consider the recommendations of the previous committee on Senedd reform which, in September last year, recommended that legislation should be introduced “early” in what is now the current Senedd term to increase its size to between 80 to 90 members from the 2026 election. 

The committee will be chaired by Labour’s Ogmore MS Huw Irranca-Davies, who served on the previous committee, while the llywydd Elin Jones will also sit on the committee but will not vote. 

The other members will be Labour’s Jayne Bryant, Conservative Darren Millar, Sian Gwenllian of Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds. 

Following May’s election first minister Mark Drakeford has acknowledged support for increasing the number of Senedd members from 60 but said it would be for the Senedd, rather than the government, to bring the issue forward. 

A possible deal, announced in September, between the Labour government and Plaid Cymru has also been seen as a potential way forward to reaching an agreement on Senedd reform  

The Conservatives remain opposed to increasing the number of Senedd Members and had boycotted the previous committee which had said it supported the recommendation of an expert panel in increasing the numbers elected to the Senedd. 

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A ‘super majority’ of 40, is required for the Senedd to increase its size and any agreement between the Labour government, which holds 30 of the 60 seats, and Plaid which has 13 members should be able to deliver the votes required. 

READ MORE: Labour Plaid agreement will secure Drakeford’s legacy

The wafer thin majority of one, which approved the introduction of Covid passes, yesterday demonstrated the government’s vulnerability on Senedd votes illustrating the attraction of a potential agreement with Plaid which was understood to be keen on a deal so the issue of Senedd reform could progress. 

A number of civic society groups support increasing the size of the Senedd. Wales is also set to lose eight MPs when the number of Welsh constituencies is reduced to 32 under boundary reforms in Westminster. 

Though there is no direct link between the numbers of MPs and MSs many believe a reduction in the number of MPs, and apparent savings on the public pursue, could make arguing for an increase in the number of politicians in Cardiff Bay easier. 

READ MORE: Boundary reform offers Wales chance to go its own way

The committee which met in the last Senedd term also made recommendations on a number of issues including how members are elected and the diversity of the Senedd. 

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