Andrew RT Davies accused of targeting minister for abuse over 20mph speed limit
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, has been accused of ‘singling out’ the Welsh Government minister in charge of transport for abuse.
Today (September 18) marked the first working day of the new 20mph default speed limit coming into force in Wales, a regulation which has been heavily opposed by the Tories after they U-turned their on previous support for it.
On Monday morning, the leader of the opposition posted a head and shoulders image of the Deputy Minister for Climate Change to social media along with the caption: “You probably don’t know him, but Lee Waters is the man who imposed Labour’s blanket 20mph speed limits on Wales.
“He once said Labour don’t know what they’re doing on the economy! I agree. His extreme policy will cost the Welsh economy up to £9billion.”
Although the Welsh Tories claim the new speed limit will cost the economy in Wales billions of pounds, the first Minister, Mark Drakeford has said there will be a one off cost of £32m and the road safety reform will save the NHS three times as much every year.
Caerphilly MS, Hefin David said the post didn’t consist of “legitimate opposition” but instead singled Mr Waters out for abuse.
Earlier this year, Mr Waters was followed and harassed in the street by a constituent unhappy with controversial Home Office plans to house asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
Over the summer the Welsh Government minister took a short break from social media after becoming a target for online abuse for issues surrounding the Stradey Park Hotel and the new 20mph default speed limit.
On Sunday, the Deputy Climate Change Minister shared a Welsh Government graphic of streetlights with the words ‘See streetlights, think 20mph’.
One social media user replied, “You f**king pr**k.”, another said: “See Lee? Think w****r.”
Hefin David MS told Nation Cymru the Welsh Conservative’s should take responsibility for fuelling confusion over the new road regulation and accused the Party of “untruths”.
He said: “There’s legitimate opposition and then there’s singling individuals out for abuse. This is very much the latter from the Welsh Conservatives.
“On the topic of 20mph, agree or disagree with him, Lee Waters has fronted up, explained and answered questions publicly. In my community this weekend I’ve seen people doing 20mph on roads that are still 30mph.
“The Welsh Conservatives need to take responsibility for this confusion after their untruths about the new limit being a ‘blanket’ policy. My message to Andrew RT Davies is: you can be much, much better than this.”
Mike Hedges, MS for Swansea also criticised the post by the leader of the opposition for the use of the term “blanket”.
Replying to Andrew RT Davies, Mr Hedges said: “Will you stop calling it a blanket ban that is untrue. It does not affect roads currently over 30 and there are hundreds of exceptions where roads are staying at 30.”
Last week, the Welsh Conservatives failed in their bid to scrap the introduction of the new 20mph speed limit which was officially rolled out on Sunday (September 17).
During the fiery Senedd debate, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said the Conservatives had been against “every progressive reform” in the country.
He said: “They are always on the wrong side of history and they never learn.”
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