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Andrew RT Davies X post flagged as ‘misleading’ as Senedd prepares to vote on lying ban

01 Jul 2024 4 minute read
Andrew RT Davies. Photo Welsh Conservatives

Emily Price

Andrew RT Davies’ X account has been flagged as containing “misleading” content following a post he published about a Welsh Government scheme for care leavers.

It comes as Members of the Senedd prepare to vote on whether a ban on politicians lying should become law in Wales.

On Friday (28 June) the leader of the Tory Senedd group published a post which read: “Labour want to pay legal immigrants £1,600 a month.”

Shortly after it went live, an X community note appeared beneath the post debunking the Conservative leader’s statement and branding it “misleading”.

The post has racked up over 79,000 views so far.

The platform, formerly known as Twitter, launched the X community notes feature in 2022 to let users add context to posts in an attempt to help combat misleading content.

Users can vote on whether they find the context provided “helpful” and accurate – or if it does not have relevance to the topic.

The community note beneath Mr Davies’ post stated: “This post is misleading. Andrew Davies is referring to the Welsh Government’s basic income trial for 18 year olds leaving the care system.”

The note also included a link to a Reuters fact checker which explains in detail why “Wales is not giving £1,600 a month to illegal migrants.”

Care leavers

The Welsh Government launched the Basic Income for Care Leavers pilot in July 2022.

The trial involved paying £1,600 each every month to a group of 635 care leavers for the first 24 months of leaving the care system.

It aims to address the challenges faced by young people leaving local authority care or foster care and transitioning into adulthood.

The Tories have been criticised for characterising the scheme as a hand-out for “illegal migrants” despite it focusing on all care leavers in Wales.

Mr Davies claims it will “create an even bigger pull factor to bring people across the Channel”.

The scheme does include a small number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were being looked after by a local authority up until the age of 18.

Although it has not yet been confirmed how many young asylum seekers leave care on average every year, a Welsh Government source says the number is “a very small proportion of those taking part in the pilot”.

The Welsh Government says it makes “no apology” for giving care leavers the best possible start in life.

A spokesperson said: “Andrew R T Davies is very well aware this is a pilot project to give a basic income to a small number of young people leaving the care system in Wales.

“Amongst them, are a handful of young people who were in the care of the Local Authority after arriving in this country alone and seeking asylum. It is extremely disappointing to see these misleading claims continuing to be made and used to trivialise such a sensitive issue.”

It is expected to be several years before the evaluation of the scheme is completed.

This is because the research plan will track the impact of the pilot on the care leavers lives now, as well as the next few years as they continue into adulthood.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd has previously said he is “fully engaged” with his X account but added he thought it would be “pretty impossible” for a politician to do “every single thing” on their social media platforms.

We contacted Mr Davies with a screenshot of the post and asked if he was aware that it had been flagged as “misleading”

The Tory leader read our message but did not respond.

Senedd politicians will vote this week on whether a ban on MSs deliberately lying should become law.

If it is voted through, anyone found to have broken the offence would be disqualified from being a Member of the Senedd.

Adam Price’s amendment to the elections and elected bodies bill, which would create the offence of deception, was agreed after Labour’s Lee Waters abstained.

The Senedd’s chief legal advisor, Counsel General Mick Antoniw has warned that such a ban could be “unworkable” and would be bad for parliamentary democracy and devolution.

The Welsh Conservatives are expected to support the amendment when it goes to a vote on Tuesday (July 2).

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12 days ago

Mae hwn yn mynd yn dwpach wrth y dydd.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago
Reply to  John

Mae gwirion a Cheidwadol yn mynd gyda’i gilydd fel mefus & hufen.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago

What a surprise. The leader of the “Welsh” Conservatives using misleading propaganda on X. If anyone deserved to fall foul of any Senedd law on lying this fool should.

11 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Agree, not the first time for him and maybe enough is enough.

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