Reflections of a former First Minister

Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones was delighted to accept an invitation from the Study of Parliament group to their conference in Oxford recently.

The Study of Parliament group is a group of around 250 people, made up almost equally of officials from the UK’s legislatures and of academics with an interest in parliamentary studies or constitutional law. Every year in January the group holds a weekend conference in Oxford and they always hope to invite a leading politician to speak to them and this year, they extended an invitation to the Bridgend AM.

The Group also decided that the address by the main speaker at the annual weekend should be called the Michael Wheeler-Booth lecture in memory of the Group’s long-standing President, who died in 2018. Michael was, of course, a member of the Richard Commission and retained an active interest in Welsh constitutional matters.

Mr Jones said “My speech was an opportunity to reflect on my time as First Minister, to look back on some of my personal achievements and to share my thoughts on topics such as Brexit, politicians working together in a coalition and reflections on 20 years of devolution. After my speech, there were a lot of questions and it took about an hour to get through them all. The audience were very engaged.”

Other topics discussed at the conference included ‘the use of Mini Assemblies as a tool for public engagement’, ‘Minority Government and Legislatures’, ‘Has Parliament risen to the Brexit Challenge’, ‘Parliament’s role in the process of leaving the EU’ and ‘Future Parliaments: questions for the UK’s legislatures after Brexit.’