NEWPORT West AM Rosemary Butler has written to leaders of all four Welsh political parties calling for more work to halt the decline in the number of women AMs.

Ms Butler, in her role as Assembly presiding officer, said despite the Assembly achieving 52 per cent representation in 2006, the number of women in the Assembly declined after the 2007 and 2011 elections.

She said: “It concerns me that we will see a further drift if political parties do not address the issue in advance of the elections in 2016.”

Chairwoman of Plaid Cymru Helen Mary Jones said her party shares Ms Butler’s concerns.

She said: “Our party and the National Assembly have taken positive steps in the past to address this imbalance, but it is not easy to do because we need to ensure equality in the candidates we put forward and representation in elected office.”

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, concurred: “Half of Wales’ population is made up of women, therefore it is only right that our National Assembly reflects that.”

She said the Lib Dems have a strong and proud record on female representation in Wales, but there is more that can be done.