Labour condemned over Autism Bill failure

The failure of Labour to back an autism Bill for Wales has been condemned by campaigners and Plaid Cymru.

Labour, the Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams and one independent AM opposed the Bill in the Senedd, meaning it failed to be passed by 28-24.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, said: “Plaid Cymru supported this bill, which was part of our manifesto commitment in 2016. Had we be in power, this would now be law and it’s a disgrace that Labour saw fit to vote down this important piece of legislation.

“People with autism and their families have been let down by the Labour party in Wales and their cynical voting against the Autism Bill. The Liberal Democrat member and the Independent AM were both elected on manifestos to introduce legislation on autism and their rejection of the Bill is equally disappointing.

“The distressing evidence we received from people with autism and their families of the challenges they face to get some kind of diagnosis, of identifying support where support is needed, where it exists at all, of getting access to their support shows how desperately legislation is needed. There’s a shocking lack of consistency nationally and, where services are good, they are too often dependent on skilled and caring individuals in certain professions.

“Families are profoundly disappointed that the Welsh Government and the Labour party have not listened to and acted on their concerns. This is not the end of the matter as far as Plaid Cymru is concerned and we will be scrutinising the government rigorously to ensure that their promises are kept.

“A Plaid Cymru government would introduce legislation that protects and promotes the rights of autistic people in Wales, their families and carers.”

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