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Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales facts for kids

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The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Llywydd) is the Speaker of the National Assembly for Wales, elected by the Members of the National Assembly for Wales to chair their meetings (plenary sessions); to maintain order; and to protect the rights of Members.

He or she also heads the Corporate Body (known as the Assembly Commission) of the National Assembly for Wales and as such is viewed as a figurehead for the entire organisation. One Deputy Presiding Officer is elected to help fulfil the role. The office of the Presiding Officer is based in Tŷ Hywel and is also responsible for the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay.

Role of the Presiding Officer

Elin Jones 2011
Elin Jones AM, the current Presiding Officer

The main function is to chair plenary sessions of the Assembly, to maintain order and to protect the rights of Members. He or she is responsible for ensuring that business is handled on the basis of equality and impartiality.

The Presiding Officer is also responsible for Standing Orders and is the final authority on their interpretation. The Presiding Officer also acts as Chair of the National Assembly for Wales Commission, and has special responsibility for promoting democratic engagement, leadership, developing the Assembly’s future legislative powers and external relations

He or she is, along with the Deputy, politically responsible for all aspects of the Presiding Office to which the Standing Orders relate.

The Presiding Officer chairs meetings of the Panel of Subject Committee Chairs, where committee procedures and matters affecting Committee business are discussed. In addition to this, the Presiding Officer acts as the ambassador for the National Assembly, attending speaker’s conferences and other events in order to publicise and raise the profile of the Assembly

Neither the Presiding or the deputy presiding officers are allowed to participate in Assembly votes.

Presiding Officer

List of office holders

Name Picture Entered office Left office Political party Notes
The Rt Hon the Lord Elis-Thomas PC AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas 2011.jpg 12 May 1999 11 May 2011 Plaid Cymru Appointed 1999, re-appointed 2003 and 2007
Dame Rosemary Butler DBE AM Rosemary Butler at The Celebration of the Mace.jpg 11 May 2011 11 May 2016 Labour Appointed 2011.
Elin Jones AM Elin Jones 2011.jpg 11 May 2016 Incumbent Plaid Cymru Appointed 2016.
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