Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

12/05/2021

In the bilingual version, the left-hand column includes the language used during the meeting. The right-hand column includes a translation of those speeches.

The Senedd met in the Chamber and by video-conference at 15:04 with the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Senedd (Manon Antoniazzi) in the Chair.

I call to order the first meeting of the sixth Senedd. As clerk, it is my duty, under Standing Order 6.4, to chair proceedings for the election of a Presiding Officer. Before we begin, I want to set out a few points. This meeting will be held in a hybrid format, with some Members in the Senedd Chamber and others joining via video-conference. All Members participating in proceedings of the Senedd, wherever they may be, will be treated equitably. A Plenary meeting held using video-conference, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Welsh Parliament, constitutes Senedd proceedings for the purposes of the Government of Wales Act 2006. Some of the provisions of Standing Order 34 will apply for today's Plenary meeting. These are noted on your agenda. I would remind Members that Standing Orders relating to order in Plenary meetings apply to this meeting, and apply equally to Members in the Siambr and those joining virtually.

15:05
1. Election of the Presiding Officer under Standing Order 6

Item 1, therefore: election of the Presiding Officer, under Standing Order 6.

Item 1, election of the Presiding Officer, under Standing Order 6. I therefore invite nominations, under Standing Order 6.6.

Thank you. Lynne Neagle has nominated Elin Jones. Do we have a Member from a different political group to second the nomination?

Thank you.

Are there any other nominations?

I'd like to nominate Russell George for the position of Llywydd. As a former committee Chair, Russ has proven himself to be fair and impartial. Russ has been an integral part of this Senedd now for 10 years, and all Members know that he would look after their interests both equally and fairly. I hope that Members can support Russell George as Presiding Officer.

Thank you. Do we have a Member from a different political group to second the nomination?

Thank you, Alun Davies.

Are there any other nominations? We have more than one nomination. I would ask each candidate to make a short contribution, in the order in which they were nominated. Elin Jones.

Thank you, chair, clerk. I'm very grateful for the nomination and for that nomination being seconded, and I accept that nomination. I'd like to congratulate every Member elected to this sixth Senedd. Many of you are new faces, and I congratulate you particularly. Some of us have been elected for the sixth time—four of us, and the class of 1999 is shrinking fast; there are few of us left.

I look around me and I see a Senedd elected that feels strong and robust, with every one elected to support the existence of our national Parliament, and most here want to see the Senedd empowered further.

The people of Wales last week stamped their authority on its Senedd. This sixth Senedd will be free to focus on the job in hand, without unnecessary distractions. As your Llywydd, I'd want to enable emboldened scrutiny of Government, I'd want to ensure enhanced opportunities for backbench contribution from all parties, and also to examine all sorts of ways in which we can work in new, innovative ways.

This Llywydd election is a neighbourly election—the Members for Montgomeryshire and for Ceredigion. I guess that in olden times we would have sorted that out as a duel at dawn on the mountains of Pumlumon, but this feels far safer and we'll both live to tell the tale, Russell.

So, I'd be privileged to serve as your Llywydd in this Senedd. And I'll say this for the very last time this May: please vote for me.

Diolch, cadeirydd. Can I thank my neighbour for those kind comments? Can I thank Laura Anne Jones for the nomination, and Alun Davies for seconding that nomination? I'm delighted to accept that nomination this afternoon.

If elected Llywydd, Members can be assured that all the decisions will be rooted in the Standing Orders. I can certainly say that I would like to think that all Members of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee could testify to my independence and impartiality as Chair. As Presiding Officer, I would maintain a rigorous independence in dealing with matters in this Senedd; I will not attend Conservative group meetings if elected Llywydd.

I come with no political agenda, other than serving Members equally and fairly, and will respect the views of Members in relation to what happens next with potential electoral reform. I will not block change, but neither will I be the driver of that change. I will do more to ensure a role for the voice of backbenchers. I will seek to increase the number of ballots for private Members' legislation, which fell significantly during the fourth and fifth Senedds, and I look to increase the amount of speaking slots for Government backbenchers in debate particularly.

The Conservative group has never held the role of Presiding Officer and only once held the role of Deputy Presiding Officer. This Senedd has to be more inclusive, especially as we are clearly the second party in this Chamber. I believe every Senedd is different and this needs to be reflected in every Senedd also. So, I pledge that, if elected Llywydd, I will not seek a second term. I hope Members will give serious consideration to supporting me in this afternoon's ballot. 

15:10

Thank you. I will now suspend the meeting to conduct the secret ballot. Voting will take place in the Neuadd. The ballot will not close until all Members intending to vote have done so. Members in the Chamber will go to vote first, followed by Members from offices on the second floor and, finally, the third floor in Tŷ Hywel. Please stay at your desks until you're summoned to vote. Ushers will help direct Members to the Neuadd. Further guidance for this process has been outlined in the document circulated to Members, and I will ask Members to remind themselves of that guidance.

As clerk, I am responsible for overseeing the voting and the counting. After the secret ballot count is complete, the bell will be rung so that we may reconvene in the Siambr and on Zoom for the announcement of the result. I now suspend the meeting. 

Plenary was suspended at 15:11.

The Senedd reconvened at 15:50, with Manon Antoniazzi in the Chair.

15:50

Order. The result of the secret ballot is as follows: Elin Jones 35 votes, Russell George 25 votes, no abstentions, total votes 60. I therefore declare that, in accordance with Standing Order 6.9, Elin Jones is elected Presiding Officer of the Senedd. I will now suspend the meeting for a short time before the Llywydd takes the Chair. [Applause.]

Plenary was suspended at 15:51.

The Senedd reconvened at 15:53, with the Presiding Officer (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

We will reconvene. Thank you all for your support and for electing me as Llywydd once again. 

2. Election of the Deputy Presiding Officer under Standing Order 6

We will now move to the election of the Deputy Presiding Officer. I would remind Members that, in accordance with Standing Order 6.12, nominations for a Deputy Presiding Officer will only be valid in the first instance if the nominee is from a different political group to me and from a group with an Executive role. I therefore invite nominations under Standing Order 6.6 for the role of Deputy Presiding Officer. Are there any nominations? Joyce Watson.

David Rees is nominated. Is there a Member from a different political group to second that nomination?

I second the nomination of David Rees, as a Member who has extensive experience of chairing committees in this Senedd and who has the personal characteristics to carry out the role very effectively, I'm sure. Thank you.

Are there any further nominations for the role of Deputy Presiding Officer?

15:55

[Inaudible.]—I'm trying to get in. Hefin David. I'd like to nominate Hefin David.

You're in, Dawn Bowden; don't worry. The nomination has been heard.

Do we have a Member from a different political group to second that nomination?

Thank you. Are there any further nominations for the role of Deputy Presiding Officer? Anyone on Zoom? No. I don't believe that there are any further nominations. As we do have two nominations, I want to give both candidates an opportunity to make a brief contribution in the order in which they were nominated. David Rees first.

Diolch, Llywydd. Can I first of all thank those who nominated and seconded my position? I very much appreciate and accept the nomination.

I suppose Members here—two thirds of you know who I am and know my experience. For the other third, I don't know you, but I will get to know you, whichever way, in the next five years, and I'm sure we'll work together well. Those who know me will understand that I've been fortunate to be Chair during the two terms I've been in the Senedd, and I hope that I've demonstrated, during that time, my fairness and my ability to ensure that every Member has the opportunity to scrutinise whoever is in front of us and ensure that Governments are held to account and that the people who deliver for Governments are held to account—because that is our role as a Senedd.

Our role is to ensure that the Government tells us and is held to account by us for what they do and the policies they enact. Those who were there will understand that, in the last Senedd, when I chaired the external affairs committee, we clearly highlighted the fact that we ensured that this place, the Senedd, was centre of everything we should be doing. That works with other Parliaments as well, and that is crucial as we move forward.

When I was seeking support for this position, I was asked, 'Why do you want to do this?', 'Why don't you want to be a Chair, as you have been, and take policies forward?' I thought carefully about it and I thought, 'Actually, you're quite right; it's very good to be a Chair and to scrutinise Government.' But then I remembered, actually, this role allows me to ensure that every Chair, every Member, has the ability to scrutinise Government effectively and to take that scrutiny forward. I want to make sure we can do that. I want to make sure that, as we move forward and we take the reforms we started in the last Senedd and continue with them, we improve this Senedd to ensure that it can scrutinise Government effectively, to ensure that we take the Government to task when they get it wrong, and praise the Government when they get it right. That's the role of the Senedd. We represent people who have given us their trust, last Thursday, to do exactly that, and that's what I want to make sure we do.

As Deputy Presiding Officer, I will work, hopefully, closely with the Llywydd, but also take the agenda forward of how we can extend the diversity we have here. I'm very delighted to see we have the first lady of colour here, and her father was the first man of colour here, but we should be expanding that. You should never be the last one. We want more. Our job is to diversify what's in here now, and extend it.

And also to look at the youth agenda. The Llywydd, in the last Senedd, brought in the Youth Parliament. We all applauded it, but only 40 per cent in my constituency actually registered to vote, of the 16 and 17-year-olds. We need to engage, and I think part of the DPO's role will be to work with the Llywydd to actually get that engagement out there, to build this place up so we build a Senedd for generations to come.

I've been reading the documents from Laura McAllister and 'A Parliament that Works for Wales'. That's the role we have. We have to build a Parliament that works for Wales. And Dawn Bowden's committee on Senedd reform highlighted the same thing. If you don't mind, I'll quote from her report. It's her foreword—so, Dawn, these are your words:

'The powers devolved by the Wales Act 2017 over the Senedd’s electoral and institutional arrangements offer us opportunities to revitalise and reinvigorate participation in our democratic processes, and to ensure that our Senedd has the capacity it needs to serve the people and communities of Wales.'

The people and the communities that elected us last Thursday to represent them. That's what I want to see happen, and as Deputy Presiding Officer I want to work with the Presiding Officer to ensure that we can achieve that goal, to ensure that the people of Wales are proud of this institution and it delivers for everybody in Wales. Thank you.

16:00

Thank you, Llywydd, and congratulations on your election as Llywydd.

I'd like to perhaps pick up where Dave Rees left off. I think that, if we look around this Chamber, the people in this Chamber represent the people of Wales better than perhaps we have seen in previous elections. This was, I believe, the first truly Welsh general election; this was the first Welsh election in which we saw a vote for First Minister and not an eye on what was going on in London. I think it is really important that we recognise that and we recognise our mandate. But if you're going to have a mandate, if you've got a mandate, you also need a voice, and every single voice in this Chamber must be heard.

I strongly believe, as Dave Rees has just said, that we need a Parliament that works for Wales and that works for our people. There is a lot in Laura McAllister's report that merits discussion, but the only way we're going to get that report back on the agenda is if we hold that discussion across this Chamber and that it's done in a way that includes all groups and tries to find consensus where possible. I believe that I am best placed to find that consensus and I believe that I am best placed to bring people together across this Chamber in a way that we didn't have in the previous fifth Senedd.

There were weaknesses in the fifth Senedd that I think have partially been dispelled by the electorate, but I still think that there are things that need to change. I want to stand on a platform of accountability, reform and fairness. Accountability of the Government to see that backbenchers—. I've been a backbencher for five years, and believe me, I know the frustrations that you can have on the back benches when trying to hold the Government to account. I want to enable backbenchers and oppositions Members to be able to engage in a way that they have never been able to engage before in this Chamber. I believe that, working with the Llywydd, we can achieve that. And I would say that I've got a very good relationship with the Llywydd. We had a conversation, as I'm sure Dave Rees did, prior to this election, and to be fair, she didn't tell us who she was voting for, which is probably just as well, but what we can do is, together, achieve reform. I'm standing on that platform of reform.

I want backbenchers to have a voice, and one of the ways to do that, I think, is shorter answers from Ministers, and the best way to get shorter answers from Ministers is shorter questions from Members. I think we can get further down the order paper so that the people on these benches—these benches here—get heard.

But the most important thing of all is fairness, and I think to have fairness, we must make sure that all Members feel that they are being well treated, more Members feel that they're being fairly treated. That needs dialogue. One of the things I would do immediately is have dialogue with those Members to discuss how we go forward. I brought with me also a book, it's 'Rheolau Sefydlog Senedd Cymru', the Standing Orders of the Welsh Parliament. I believe that these are the rules to which we must stick in order to govern this Chamber effectively. But not stick to the rules if we feel that they are not working. Many in this Chamber say that there are Standing Orders in this book that need to change, and I think that is the next stage in our dialogue.

I am not seeking any other office; I'm only seeking Dirprwy Lywydd. If I am elected to Dirprwy Lywydd, I will take a step back from my ability to speak on these back benches. I think that will reduce my voice in this Chamber—something I will greatly miss—but it is the least that you can expect from me in delivering impartiality to you.

I thank both candidates. I will now suspend the meeting temporarily to conduct a secret ballot. Voting will take place in the Neuadd and the ballot will not close until all Members intending to vote have done so. Members in the Chamber will vote first, followed by Members from offices on the second floor, and finally, the third floor in Tŷ Hywel. Further guidance for this process has been outlined in the document circulated to Members, and I would ask Members to remind themselves of that guidance. The clerk, once again, is responsible for overseeing the voting and counting. After the secret ballot count is complete, the bell will be rung for a final time so that we may reconvene in the Siambr and on Zoom for the announcement of that result. I will now suspend the meeting.

Plenary was suspended at 16:04.

16:45

The Senedd reconvened at 16:46, with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

Welcome back, and this is the result of the secret ballot for Deputy Presiding Officer: David Rees 35 votes, Hefin David 24 votes. And therefore, I declare, in accordance with Standing Order 6.9, that David Rees is elected Deputy Presiding Officer of this Senedd for the ensuing period. [Applause.] Congratulations, David.

3. Nomination of the First Minister under Standing Order 8

So, we'll move on to our next item of business, and that is to invite nominations for First Minister. But first, in accordance with Standing Order 12.11, the proposal is to bring forward nominations for First Minister. Does any Member object to this item of business? No, there are no objections, and therefore I will ask whether there are any nominations for First Minister. Rebecca Evans.

Thank you. Mark Drakeford is nominated. Are there any further nominations? There are no further nominations, and therefore, in accordance with Standing Order 8.2, I declare that Mark Drakeford is nominated for appointment as First Minister of Wales. In accordance with section 47(4) of the Government of Wales Act 2006, I will recommend to Her Majesty the appointment of Mark Drakeford as First Minister. I now invite Mark Drakeford to address the Senedd. Mark Drakeford.

Well, Llywydd, thank you very much, and thank you to all Assembly Members. And may I start by congratulating you and the new Deputy Llywydd on your election? And thank you, too, to Russell George and Hefin David for standing for those important roles within the Senedd. I would also like to congratulate all Senedd Members, particularly the newly elected Members; I look forward to working with you all over the next five years.

This has been an exceptional election. I'm very pleased that young people at 16 and 17 years of age have been able to vote for the very first time in this election, thanks to a law passed in this Chamber. And now, it's time for each and every one of us to use the mandate that we have to implement the ideas that we campaigned for in 'Moving Wales Forward'. And that is the starting point for my comments here today.

We are still in the midst of a pandemic that has cast such a dark shadow over our lives. It has stretched our health service and the people working within it. It has harmed lives and impacted on people's livelihoods. This Welsh Labour Government will continue to tackle coronavirus in the cautious way in which we have done so to date: by following the science and safeguarding the most vulnerable in our communities. And we will lead Wales to a recovery that will bring Wales to a fairer, greener recovery for all. Nobody will be left behind, and nobody will be held back. I make this pledge to this Senedd today in the first session of this new term: I will lead a Welsh Labour Government, but we will govern in a way that seeks consensus and will take account of new and bold ideas, wherever those ideas come from. Ideas that can lead to a better future for the people of Wales—from clean air, to a basic income, and to ensure that young people are not priced out of Welsh-speaking communities.

Llywydd, on all these matters, and others too, this will be a Government that listens and will work collaboratively with others where there is common ground to be found between us. And that determination to work with others extends beyond this Chamber, of course—to our partners in the public, private and third sectors across Wales, to communities and to people across our nation. We will deepen the social partnership we have developed over the last two decades by putting it into law, and use it to focus on recovery and the work we need to do to make Wales a place truly fit for future generations. And we will work in partnership with other Governments too, across the United Kingdom, wherever those relationships are conducted with parity of esteem and respect.

Llywydd, it's my job to stand up for Wales, and I will never stand back from doing so when the need arises, but my starting point will be to lead a Government that is constructive, engaged and a positive partner in meeting those challenges that don't and never have ended at our borders. And at all times, of course, I will be accountable to this Senedd and, through all of you, to the people of Wales. 

Llywydd, we are very fortunate, I believe, in this sixth Senedd, that, as you yourself said earlier, people in Wales have chosen to return Members here who this time share at least one fundamental thing in common, above all other things, and across all party divides. Everyone here, I believe, has a shared commitment to changing people's lives for the better, to realise the potential of this wonderful and unique nation, and to use this institution as a way of making sure that decisions that affect only people in Wales are made only by people who live in Wales. I look forward to working with you all over the five years that lie ahead. Diolch yn fawr.

16:50

Congratulations to the First Minister. Andrew R.T. Davies, leader of the opposition.

Thank you very much, Presiding Officer. Could I begin by congratulating you on becoming the Presiding Officer for the sixth parliamentary term, and also David Rees on being the Deputy Presiding Officer, and thank the two other Members of the Senedd who made the vote happen, because I think it's important that democratic action sets the tone for how we want these proceedings to go on right the way through this sixth Assembly? Could I also thank everyone who allowed the election to happen or helped allow the election to happen? It was only two or three months ago that we were actually debating legislation that, with the COVID crisis, actually put in doubt whether we would have had an election, and a democracy does need to re-energise itself and become a reality. And it might seem a bit odd to say 'thank you', but it did happen, and it happened in a positive way that has returned an Assembly/Parliament here today with new Members, in my own group and across the Chamber, in particular, nearly a third of MSs are new Members to this institution, and that has to be a good thing.

I'd also like to congratulate Natasha Asghar, the first lady of colour to come into this Chamber, and I'm sure many will follow in her footsteps, just like her father as well. And we can be proud of the representation that's here, reaching out across the aisle, across all parties, to see the new blood that has come in along with the returning blood that generally has the best interests of Wales at heart.

We're an entrepreneurial and dynamic country, and we should never talk ourselves down, we should always talk ourselves up. And I believe that politicians of all colours can come together and work together, and I heard what the First Minister said about that consensus building. There will be differences between us, but there are areas where we will be able to work—the clean air Act, for example, the new national forest that you talk of in your manifesto, First Minister, also the national music service that you talk of, as well. On the legislation, the agricultural Act that you've talked of, as well, which is important for many rural communities. So, there are areas that we can work together on. There will be areas of confrontation, but we will be a constructive opposition, because it is vitally important, as we come out of COVID—and I use that word 'coming out of COVID', because we're very much still coming out of it, rather than looking back and forgetting about it.

There is a big job of work to do in education, in the economy and in the health service, in particular, which has been so battered, shall we say, over the last 12, 14 months, that many of the front-line workers have put heaven and earth to make sure that the health service has worked and met the challenge, and the staff on the front line desperately need the support of the Government, but politicians as well, so that we can make progress in eating into those waiting times and rejuvenating our education offer here in Wales, which, sadly, has been so disrupted and scarred over the last 12, 14 months, and continues to be, because, obviously, that education has been lost, and it is important that the Government come forward with their proposals in a timely manner—on the economy as well, because we know the challenges on the economy in particular with the furlough scheme coming to an end in the autumn, that all levers of Government are pulled to make sure that the Welsh economy pulls out of what has been a very brutal experience.

But we give our commitment as an opposition to work constructively where we can, but we will fulfil our duty as an opposition to hold the Government to account on its actions and seek to improve the legislation where we can. But there are two areas that I think desperately need mapping out by the First Minister, as he announces his Cabinet tomorrow. The First Minister has identified that he will only serve a limited term of office, two to two and a half years, and I think it's important that we as politicians, as well as the citizens of Wales, understand how that will affect the implementation of the manifesto and the work around the manifesto commitments. And secondly, with the announcement in Westminster of the COVID inquiry to start in the spring of next year, many people in Wales will want to understand what Wales's role will be in that inquiry, but importantly, about the development of an inquiry here in Wales. I look forward in the coming weeks to hearing that advice, that guidance that the Government are putting out there over the actions they will be taking on the economy, on education and health, and above all on making sure that Wales, at the end of this five-year term, collectively, by working together, is a better place than we started with, and we tap that entrepreneurial spirit, that dynamism that exists in all communities across Wales to unleash the potential that we know—this is the greatest part of the United Kingdom. Thank you, Presiding Officer.

16:55

Thank you, Llywydd, and may I start by congratulating you on your election as Llywydd? It's good to see a member of Plaid Cymru winning at least one election this afternoon, but may I extend the same congratulations to David Rees, and, of course, I extend my warmest congratulations to Mark Drakeford on being confirmed as First Minister this afternoon? As I said following the result of the election, Mark Drakeford did secure a mandate to lead the Welsh Government for the ensuing period, and I would sincerely want to wish him well in dealing with the challenges and opportunities of the next months and years.

From a Plaid Cymru perspective, I'm very proud of the committed, energetic team that we have on our benches and joining us virtually today, of course, and the new and innovative ideas that they will bring to the sixth Senedd and to Welsh politics more generally. I want to take this opportunity too to pay tribute and to thank Leanne Wood, Helen Mary Jones, Dai Lloyd and Bethan Sayed for their work and public service over a number of years in serving their communities and Welsh democracy. The sixth Senedd will be poorer without them. I look forward to working with my fellow Members as we continue to build the case for independence and to continue to scrutinise constructively but robustly the Welsh Government's response to COVID as we recover from the pandemic. We will look for all opportunities to work in this Chamber and outside of it in order to implement our transformational programme and to be a voice for the hopes and aspirations of the communities that have elected us to represent them here.

It feels that we are returning to a Senedd that is more confident in its own skin. The Senedd elected does demonstrate that the people of Wales voted by a vast majority in favour of self-government and put its faith in a Welsh Government and a Welsh Senedd to make the important decisions about their lives, including keeping them safe and safeguarding their health. The First Minister stood on a platform that stated that the UK was over and that we needed far-reaching constitutional reform and reconstruction, with more powers to Wales. That's his mandate, and we will hold him to that commitment. Just yesterday, we saw Michael Gove rejecting the call for home rule, despite the vote of confidence from the people of Wales in this place. The Westminster attacks on devolution are only beginning. As the UK dismantles over ensuing years, we in Plaid Cymru are as convinced as ever that we need a new Wales, a united Wales, a free Wales, an equal Wales, where the future of Wales will be in the hands of Wales. And this is the real oath that we as Members of Plaid Cymru have taken in taking our seats in our national Parliament here.  

A Parliament that is perfectly balanced between Government and opposition makes political co-operation across party lines not just desirable but necessary, and we stand, in Plaid Cymru, ready to find common ground in the interests of the people who have elected all of us to this Senedd. We'll work with Government where possible, and with the opposition parties where necessary, in the sprit of a united Wales, where the things that unite us are often much more important, much more enduring, than the things that divide us. 

The First Minister has won a mandate for the continuation of his Government, but surely there is no mandate, and certainly there should not be a mandate, for the continuation of child hunger, for the continuation of homelessness, of food and fuel poverty, of poverty pay, of the crisis in housing, in social care and mental health. The result of the election has been a political status quo, but it cannot be—it must not be—a social status quo, an economic status quo. And surely that is, above all, true. The First Minister referred to future generations; we, uniquely amongst the nations of the world, have put the interests of future generations right at the heart of our politics and our constitution. It is the animating principle of our Government. And surely the one area where we cannot accept the status quo is child poverty—a moral stain, a moral stain on any nation, and certainly an advanced economy like ours in Wales, where almost one in three of our children are living in poverty. As a former leader of the Labour Party said recently, poverty for anyone is a scandal, but child poverty is a crime. So, can we all make a declaration, across party lines, that we will work together to end and abolish this crime in Wales?

And I urge the First Minister—. And, unconventionally, I paid tribute to him many times throughout the election, because I honestly believe in his sincerity. When he talks about being radical and ambitious, I want him to succeed. I genuinely want him to succeed. And can I urge him—can I urge him to look across the Atlantic at the moment, to look at the Biden Government, which is electrifying, I think, in its commitment to showing how politics can be the vehicle for transformational change? He has set the goal, my goodness me, of halving child poverty within a year in the United States of America. And he has—. There are echoes of the Great Society of LBJ and FDR's New Deal. That's the politics of radical ambition that Wales is calling out for, and that's the leadership that we need from the new Government of Wales—not hesitation, not half steps. Change is going to happen anyway, whether it's automation or climate change. We must set our own positive change in the agenda that we will see in the heart of our politics here in Wales. There is a supermajority for self-government in this Senedd, and that's something to celebrate. Let's build a supermajority too for social justice and economic progress. If the First Minister and the new Government puts that at the heart of its politics, then it will find on these benches a party that is willing to support not just the end, but also the means.

17:05

That brings our business for today to an end. There's five years' worth of business to continue from today, and it has been good to see you all in this Chamber and those of you on Zoom as well, and if I can just say to you, those of you on Zoom, it's great to see a screen full of Zoom participants without a bookshelf in sight.

So, good afternoon to you all.

The work starts here.

Thank you, all.

The meeting ended at 17:06.