MPS have backed handing new powers to the Welsh Assembly as the Wales Bill finished its journey through the House of Commons.

The final stage of the bill before it is scrutinised by the House of Lords was held on Monday, September 12, with MPs backing measures to hand the Assembly power over issues such as fracking and the running of elections as well as the ability to rename itself as a Parliament.

But proposals to create a separate justice system in Wales were blocked.

Speaking at the start of the debate Newport West MP and shadow Welsh secretary Paul Flynn said he believed Monday’s landmark was far from the end.

“This is one of those occasions to which we return every four or five years, and I am afraid that we are doomed to do so for the foreseeable future, because this is not the final word," he said.

“We are all grateful for the amount of consensus on the bill.

“Its main features are progressive and they will introduce stability and a new dignity to the Assembly, which is winning more respect for its position virtually every time we debate these bills.”

And speaking later he said he believed the bill “gives new dignity to our Parliament”.

“The bill is, of course, a stage, it is not an ending or a full stop,” he said.

“We would like to go full speed ahead with the development of a separate Welsh Government with at least the powers of Scotland.

“That is not possible because there is a drag anchor coming from the Conservative Party.

“I wish they would pull their anchor up and let the good ship Welsh Assembly sail free into clear waters.”

Welsh secretary Alun Cairns hailed the bill, saying: “The powers in this bill will usher a new era of devolution to Wales, one which draws a line under the constant squabbles over where powers lie.

"One in which people are clear of who should be held accountable for the decisions over public services that they use every day.

"And one in which the Welsh government is truly accountable to the people of Wales."

But Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Hywel Williams said the bill represented “an inferior settlement”.

“We had an opportunity to give the people of Wales their own Parliament with the necessary tools to adequately tackle the major challenges facing our economy, our NHS and our education system,” he said.

“Instead, Westminster has done all it can to prevent Welsh democracy from growing and developing.”

And leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Mark Williams called the bill “a missed opportunity”.

“This bill simply does not go far enough and has left many questions unanswered which we will need to revisit as time goes on,” he said.

To view the latest version of the bill visit