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Welsh Government to seek Senedd consent for emergency bill to manage election during pandemic

The Welsh Government has said it will seek the Senedd’s consent next week (27 January) for an emergency bill to be introduced aimed at ensuring the next Senedd election happens safely.

The bill would, “as a last resort”, enable the Senedd election on 6 May to be postponed for up to six months, “if the pandemic presents such a serious threat to public health that it is not safe to hold the election at that time”.

This would be subject to the agreement of two-thirds of Members of the Senedd. Members would also need to agree a new date for the election.

Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, said: “The Welsh Government’s clear intention is that the next Senedd election should be held on Thursday 6 May 2021. We are also determined to do everything in our power to ensure people can vote when the election takes place.

“However, due to the unpredictable nature of coronavirus, there is significant uncertainty about what the situation will be like in May. That is why we are seeking the Senedd’s consent to introduce an emergency bill that would give Members of the Senedd the powers necessary to manage the conduct of the election, in order to protect public health.”