Natasha Asghar MS has demanded a referendum over Labour’s pipeline plans to increase the size of the Senedd – a move which comes with a price tag of £100 million.
The Welsh Government wants to add an extra 36 politicians to the Senedd – taking the total to 96 – and introduce contentious gender quotas to force an equal split of men and women.
During a Senedd debate, Natasha Asghar MS, who represents South East Wales, insisted politicians should be elected on merit – not simply because they tick the right boxes.
Natasha Asghar MS said:
“Let me be abundantly clear, I am wholly against any plans to introduce a gender quota and increase the number of politicians in the Senedd.
“Our NHS is under immense pressure with 700,000 patients languishing on a waiting list for treatment. Wales needs more doctors, nurses, and dentists – not politicians.
“Having made history last year by becoming the first woman of colour to be elected to the Senedd, I genuinely want to see and dream of the day when the Welsh Parliament becomes truly diverse and inclusive.
“I want to see a Senedd that has more women, more people of colour, more disabled politicians, and more members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“However, politicians should be elected on merit – not simply because they tick the right boxes and meet some artificial quota.
“If Labour ministers are so confident that the people of Wales want a bigger Senedd, then why not give the Welsh public a stronger voice and put it to the people through a referendum instead of forcing it on them?”
“This is the people’s Senedd, so let the people of Wales decide on its future.”