Tories demote Wales to sub-city status with justice powers for Manchester

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Plaid Cymru's Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts MP has today accused the Tories in Westminster of demoting Wales to 'sub-city status' by giving criminal justice powers to Manchester while refusing to transfer them to the National Assembly.

The Chancellor confirmed in today's Budget that Manchester would be granted greater control over criminal justice yet such powers were missing from the recent Draft Wales Bill put forward by the UK Government.

Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts MP said that it was 'simply unacceptable' for the UK Government to offer Wales's democratic institution fewer powers than an English city, adding that a Plaid Cymru government would demand a fair settlement from Westminster if elected in May.

Liz Saville Roberts MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and member of the Welsh Affairs Committee responsible for scrutinising the Draft Wales Bill said:

"By granting Manchester further criminal justice powers while refusing to transfer them to our National Assembly, the Tories have demoted the nation of Wales to sub-city status.

"With a growing body of legal professionals, experts and academics supporting the creation of a distinct legal jurisdiction for Wales, there is an overwhelming case in favour of such a move.

"Only this week, a leading Conservative barrister joined the chorus of voices arguing that Wales is ready to have its own legal system.

"The Draft Wales Bill is the ideal legislative vehicle to secure this change, yet the Tory UK Government's insistence on treating Wales as a second-class nation means that this is missing from the bill.

"It is simply unacceptable for Wales's democratic institution to be offered fewer powers than an English city. We must have parity with other UK nations, not just UK cities.

"If elected in May, a Plaid Cymru government would demand a fair settlement for our nation from Westminster, allowing Welsh democracy to mature and securing the most accountable Assembly possible."

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