THE impartiality of the Senedd’s Presiding Officer (Llywydd) has been questioned following her role in a debate in the chamber yesterday.
Elin Jones, the AM for Ceredigion, refused to allow an emergency question on fire safety in Cardiff from Independent Nationalist Neil McEvoy.
Mr. McEvoy’s four submitted amendments in a subsequent debate on racism were also then deselected.
The fire safety issue was concerning a fraudulent signing off of a fire certificate for a major housing block in Cardiff.
Mr. McEvoy had wanted to ask a question of how this had been allowed to happen, especially in view of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London in 2017.
But his emergency question on an issue that the Welsh Government themselves have serious concerns about, was not allowed by the Presiding Officer.
It’s not the first time that questions and amendments from McEvoy have been disallowed by Y Llywydd, prompting suggestions that her personal dislike for the Cardiff politician is now colouring her decision-making.
‘We cannot tolerate a situation where prejudice trumps democracy in Wales. This is what’s happening now in our parliament’ said Mr McEvoy.
Perhaps McEvoy is indeed pushing things too far in accusing Y Llywydd of racism towards him as a person of colour in her decision-making.
But, onlookers are certainly getting an impression that the establishment in Cardiff Bay are doing everything they can to isolate and undermine his efforts.
Which raises the question – why all the hostility towards an independent-minded member who seems to be doing all that he can to bring the concerns of the public to the attention of the Senedd?
Y Llywydd of all people should be non-partisan and above such petty politicking, so that fairness and transparency can be ensured for all elected members, whoever they are.
It’s the public image of the Senedd itself which will suffer if there any doubts about that particular principle.