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Nick Clegg (2nd from right) on a visit to the Welsh Assembly chamber on 30 September, 2010. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Wales votes yes to extending powers of national assembly

Nick Clegg welcomes Welsh yes vote, saying it marks a real turning point for devolution.

WELSH VOTERS HAVE APPROVED measures to give their national assembly new law-making powers by a 2-1 margin.

The AP reports that although Wales has had its own assembly separate from the British Parliament in London since 1999, it did not have legislative powers.

Today’s result means the Welsh assembly will now be able to make laws directly for 20 devolved areas including health and education, the BBC reports.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the result marked the beginning of a new era of Welsh devolution. Jones said the rest of the would could now sit up and take notice that the Welsh people had “demonstrated pride in who we are and what we all stand for”.

Some areas had a voter turnout of over 70 per cent, but was below 30 per cent in other areas; overall turnout was about 35 per cent.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg welcomed “the great result” and said it puts an end “to an absurd situation we had under Labour” whereby the Welsh government had to seek approval from London for areas which were supposed to be devolved to Wales anyway: