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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
'New dawn' breaking for assembly
Senedd, Cardiff Bay

Legislation which will give the Welsh Assembly new powers has cleared its final hurdle.

The Government of Wales Bill has been debated in the House of Lords and peers withdrew what could have been a last-ditch bid to alter its content.

The bill which will allow politicians in Cardiff Bay to make their own laws without going through Parliament, will now be made law on Tuesday.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has called it a new dawn for devolution.

The new legislation would be the biggest transfer of power since the assembly began sitting seven years ago.

The UK Government has already suffered a defeat on the bill in the Lords, who voted to change it significantly.

Peter Hain
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said the bill had been on a knife edge

These includes such proposals as a ban on dual candidacy - outlawing the ability of would-be assembly members to stand in both constituencies and on regional lists.

Labour complained that this had resulted in four candidates standing in Clwyd West becoming AMs, although three of them lost in the constituency election.

But when the bill was returned to the Commons, MPs reinstated the dual candidacy ban.

The government suffered six defeats in the Lords on the bill, and has conceded on some minor points to ensure its passage well before the next assembly election in May 2007.




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