The Welsh Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservatives for voting against a motion to explore the devolution of powers over justice to the Senedd.
Tonight, in a vote at Westminster, the Conservatives have voted down a cross-party motion which was aimed at forcing the UK Government to explore the impacts of the devolution of justice within six months.
The devolution of justice powers to Wales has long been recommended, including in the Silk Commission in 2014 and in the Commission on Justice in Wales in 2019. Justice is devolved in both Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats put fighting for justice to be devolved to Wales at the heart of their recent Senedd manifesto and have long campaigned for a fairer, federal UK.
Jane Dodds MS, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Tonight, the Conservatives have chosen to put their quest for power and control ahead of the best interests of Wales.
“Giving powers over justice to the Senedd would allow us to better respond to the distinct issues we face here in Wales. With these powers we could create a fairer criminal justice system, which focuses upon rehabilitation, and develop a strategy to tackle the rising rates of rural crime.
“The devolution of justice has long been recommended by numerous Commissions and legal experts - as it would put Wales into line with the other UK nations. Yet, Boris Johnson simply doesn’t care. He is only focused upon doing whatever it takes to keep as much power in the hands of him and his friends.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have always fought for a fairer federal union, one where each nation is valued, respected, and empowered. This latest vote shows that Wales is never going to get equal status, or a fair deal, under the Conservatives.”