The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

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home > Transactions > Volume 21 - 2015 > The Parliament for Wales Campaign, 1987–2011

The Parliament for Wales Campaign, 1987–2011

The innovative (in a sense re-incarnated) Parliament for Wales Campaign, formed at the height of the Thatcher era in 1987 and soon attracting signi cant pockets of re-awakened support in at least some areas of Wales, was the ‘most signi cant coalition’ to campaign for Welsh devolution ever since its namesake predecessor body during the 1950s in Wales.

This essay seeks to track the origins, development, and activities of the PWC within the broader political developments and contests of the time. It aims to detail the organization’s leadership and most prominent individuals, the complex strands of its support, its strategy, finances, most significant publications, and relationship with other contemporary political campaigns and parties (most notably, of course, the Welsh Labour Party). It attempts to show how the PWC developed from an early voice demanding devolution for Wales to an advocate of greater legislative and financial powers in the debates surrounding the crucial second devolution referendum of September 1997, to its role as a ‘constructive but critical friend’ of the established Assembly from 1999 onwards. It also looks at its decisive contribution in the context of the framing and passage of the 2006 Government of Wales Act, the Richard Commission, and the legislative referendum of 2011 which greatly enhanced, and will continue to increase, the role, functions, and powers of the Welsh Assembly. The PWC made a highly significant contribution during the general election campaigns of 1992 and 1997 and played a major part during the preparations of the setting up and consolidation of the National Assembly in 1999 and its disparate functions.

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