BBC accused of ‘fake news’ as correspondent says no one will police travel in Wales

Daniel Sandford speaking on BBC News today

The BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent has been criticised after he said that different rules over travel in Wales and England were “ridiculous” and that “no one was going to police” them.

Daniel Sandford said it was a “ridiculous situation where somebody who lives in England on the Welsh border can drive all the way along to the coast of East Anglia to get to the coast but can’t cross five miles across the border to get to Wales under these separate rules”.

“But to be honest no one is going to police that that is just what they’re asking people to do because of the different rules in different countries in different nations,” he said.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said that it was “dangerous fake news” and that the BBC should “urgently retract” the comments.

Health policy is devolved to Wales and currently, someone travelling within or into Wales by car for exercise could be stopped and fined by police.

Rob Osborne of ITV News said the comments had “gone down badly” at the Welsh Government and that they had already contacted BBC News to clarify the rules.

Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething later took issue with the coverage, writing that the coverage was “really disappointing from Daniel Sandford and BBC News, and simply not true”.

“The Welsh Government rules in Wales will be policed. We are not flexing political muscle – we are acting to keep people safe. Not very complicated.”

The BBC’s Press Team later responded: “Hi Vaughan – our correspondent was incorrect to say, during an earlier live report, that incoming travel into Wales was not being policed. He has clarified the situation in his subsequent reporting.”

 

‘Separate rules’

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that rules would be relaxed in England, meaning people can “drive to other destinations”.

However, in Wales, the First Minister Mark Drakeford said people cannot travel “a significant distance” from home.

“I want to be clear – in Wales, it is Welsh law which applies,” he told the daily Welsh Government press conference. He added that he thought his government had got it right while the UK Government had got it wrong.

But in his televised comments, broadcast at 2.15 pm on the main BBC News channel, Daniel Sandford said that the issue “goes to the heart of the problem that the Westminster Government is having” as they attempt to  “make sure that the other nations march alongside them a bit”.

“Of course, to a degree, there’s some politics going on – the other nations are flexing their muscles a bit, saying we’re not going to take regulation from Westminster,” he said.

“Some different concerns – infection rate is a little bit higher in Wales and Scotland at the moment – so that’s making people a little bit uncomfortable.”

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Jamie Medhurst
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Jamie Medhurst

“goes to the heart of the problem that the Westminster Government is having” as they attempt to “make sure that the other nations march alongside them a bit”. This nails the issue on the head. Perhaps Westminster should have looked at the devolved administrations in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast and marched alongside them?

John Young
Guest
John Young

Oh good God, don’t be silly. Why on earth would England follow us.

Do you think it could ever be possible that the decisions taken in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (essentially all three having come to the same conclusion) could ever be right and the decision taken in Westminster could be wrong ?

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

I think now it’s almost a dead cert that a substantial number of people will get stopped and fined today as they try it on in Wales.

Aled Jones
Member

£100 a pop Tourist Tax, and then turn them straight back home. What’s not to like?

Mark Chellingworth
Member
Mark Chellingworth

80 % of Wales total income comes from English tourists. Just saying Figures courtesy of the Welsh tourist board by the way. Careful what you wish for Wales my need those pennys when this is over.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

One of the effects of the recent contempt shown by “English tourists” as regards the safety of people in rural and coastal Wales will be to put mass unregulated tourism under the microscope. The small financial return (remember, much of the tourist industry is not Welsh-owned) does not compensate for the cultural and environmental degradation, the steady anglicisation, and the depopulation and demographic change that tourism encourages and facilitates. What Cymru needs when covid-19 is under control is not “those pennies” but a lot of work by the Senedd to help establish a new, more productive economy that will provide… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Lord, I hope so….

Lynne Edwards
Guest
Lynne Edwards

How could a decision taken anywhere else at all be right, and Westminster wrong?

None of the media has covered themselves in glory by consistently remembering that England is not the UK. And of the branches who like to think of themselves as serious and accurate the BBC has certainly not made the best showing of generally poor performances even before this

Lynne Edwards
Guest
Lynne Edwards

The first sentence is a reference to ministers’ insistence that the UK was following the science – with the implication that Germany, Italy, Korea etc therefore weren’t. I used to encounter that one a lot from the UK when I worked on risk related international negotiations

John
Guest
John

British Exceptionalism, innit? Or rather, English Exceptionalism….

Lynne Edwards
Guest
Lynne Edwards

Indeed.

I used to be surprised at the extent to which other countries took them at their own estimation and went along with it. That won’t be happening any more

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Or 27 other nation?

Theresa Green
Guest
Theresa Green

No. Should be the other way around.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

regardless of merit ? Westminster always right ? Take those tinted specs off they are harming your capacity for critical thinking.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

She hates anything Welsh, but Wales is stuck with her for now. Sigh… As for Drakeford’s television address, it clearly took the British media by surprise, with at least one correspondent querying why he wasn’t following Westminster’s ‘lead’? Drakeford acquitted himself fairly well in response to those questions. This facile comment from Sandford doesn’t surprise me one bit. Johnson’s subsequent attempt during his own address, peppered with references to “the nation”, echoed that mindset. Today, they all seem to have accepted the reality and made some effort to point out that Wales and Scotland are out of bounds until Drakeford… Read more »

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Drakeford and Sturgeon, sorry.

Johnny Gamble
Guest
Johnny Gamble

Only goes to show how useless, inept and outdated wasteminster is. The sooner Cymru leaves this archaic dinasour of an Union the better.

michaelfrostfrost
Guest
michaelfrostfrost

i agree, if the English didnt have to subsidise the welsh to the tune of billions, we would be much better off, and your country would go bankrupt in short order

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

So if an Englishman told you to have sex with a goat, you would do it?

michael frost
Guest
michael frost

I always thought it was sheep?

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Or even simply accept that you can’t have devolution, which specifically provides for the different nations to do certain things differently, and then assume that they’ll always do everything the same.

Mark Chellingworth
Member
Mark Chellingworth

Numbers is why. maths. UK population for beginers. 68.5 million people. 3.1 million reside in Wales. 1.9 million reside in Northern Ireland. 5.6 million live in Scotland. However that leaves 58 million who live in England. So who should fall in line ? 10 million dictate to 58 million ? If you think yes. then when the devolved vote was held in wales etc. you think the higher number yes vote should be carried or the lower no vote ?? either numbers matter or they don’t.

Andrew Louden
Guest
Andrew Louden

If Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is now being treated diverently to England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 why can’t they govern themselves and stay in the EU 🇪🇺 as a Celtic nation

Mark Chellingworth
Guest
Mark Chellingworth

Wales voted leave with a higher majority than England??? infact welsh leave votes swung it for brexit. so not sure what your point is about staying ?

michaelfrost
Guest
michaelfrost

Hard Border between England and wales? dont be a pratt, and wales voted massivley to leave

Kipper Kinsey
Guest
Kipper Kinsey

Typical English arrogance…
Welsh and Scottish police fining English travellers Into Wales and Scotland I feel will push devolution large time I hope

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

How about posters, with golden haired girl in national costume: “Please don’t come and kill my Granny”.

John
Guest
John

“… my nain… ” just to rub their noses in it…. Please….

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Thought about it, but it’s aimed at English women. I doubt whether they would let their blokes ignore such a plea.
Hope someone artistic has a go and shoves it onto the net. Quick!

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

How about a giant poster of Jake Ball, Leon Brown and Aaron Schindler offering to “escort them off the premises”?

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Please note, there are English old folk in Welsh care homes. Posters of Gran and Grandad would work?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

A friend of mine got sent a text with a huge roadsign showing Nessa from Gavin and Stacey saying “Sling your hook or I’ll break your face”. Should work.

John
Guest
John

Sandford’s comments suggest that the difference in Welsh rules is there for a political purpose. He is wrong and should retract. They are there for reasons of safety and concern for the people of Wales. And yes, Daniel, they ARE enforceable and to suggest otherwise is plain reckless. We shall see….

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

I’m not sure that Sandford was necessarily being either daft or venal. As a ‘home correspondent’ he’ll know well enough that the police are stretched more than ever as a consequence of a decade of austerity, and he might well have assumed that turning back tourists would inevitably not figure high on police operational priorities.

But assuming we can believe what the chief constable of Gwent said on ‘Wales Today’ yesterday evening, he’d be wrong.

Phil Jones
Guest
Phil Jones

So people in Wales still watch Boris Broadcasting Corp. ? How strange

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Recommend France 24 and DW tv.

MattR
Guest
MattR

Yst another reason why the media should be fully devolved in Wales. The BBC and the national dailies in London have never represented us and have never really had any respect for Wales.

Steve Duggan
Guest
Steve Duggan

Once again derogatory remarks will push us ever closer to Self Determination. Insults will strengthen our resolve, the time for taking it on the chin, which we have done in Wales for centuries, is over.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Mark this, Sandford, the heddlu were out in force on the border roads in Wrexham Maelor today. Doubtless the pattern was, and will be, repeated all the way to the south for as long as necessary.

Ken Barker
Guest
Ken Barker

What? You mean that little place with curious cultural traditions actually decides things for itself?

Jim Morris
Guest
Jim Morris

The first lie of the BBC is accepting government figures which only report on those tested in hospital. Care Homes and at home victims are not included. Even so, going along with the farce, number of deaths divided by number positive tests for England comes to 0.14, for Scotland 0.13 and for Wales 0.09. I dont know how it works but in my book Wales and Scotland are not having worse results, regardless of what the Special Correspondent says.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

European Media have now found this out and are emphasising.

Welsh_Sion
Guest
Welsh_Sion

And here we have the archetypal Home Counties ignorance and arrogance on full display. Only a few weeks back there was a story of some Luxembourgois being fined for ‘inadvertently straying’ into France and no-one should have been surprised (https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/luxembourg-coronavirus-border-france-controls-penalty-a9491931.html) The law is the law is the law of the country in which you find yourself – and ignorance thereof is no excuse. Yet, here we are not talking about ‘inadvertent strayers’. We are talking about wilful and intentional people crossing over from a zone where one law applies to another zone where a different set of legal criteria apply.… Read more »

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

American and other Uni’s are way up the list these days, as is Ameringlish spoken. I keep thinkng people are from the US, due to the accents, but they turn out to be Europeans.

Annwyn
Guest
Annwyn

In my village we have had two lots of people coming from second homes and I’ve heard of someone in Llandegfan who said that Boris told them they could! We must show that we have the power to say no!

Anthony Coslett
Guest
Anthony Coslett

Mr. Sand ford and the England Broadcasting Corporation, sorry, the BBC, are totally wrong in their attempt to undermine the policy of The Welsh Government, by firstly, insinuating that no one will enforce the ‘no travel’ ban in Cymru enabling cross border travel despite Welsh law, and secondly intimating that the three devolved administrations have failed to cooperate with the U.K. Prime Minister leading to the present confusions which, by the way, exist only in English minds in England. Reality is that Johnson refused all proper consultation and cooperation with the devolved governments and, in his Sunday broadcast, clearly voiced,… Read more »

Ann Owen
Guest
Ann Owen

Aren’t correspondents supposed to report the news, factually, rather than inserting themselves and their opinions into their reports? First he was wrong, hadn’t done his research, arrogantly assumed that Wales couldn’t possibly be capable of policing her regulations – and then in a later report he compounded his mistake by political spin. If this was meant to be an expert opinion piece then he really was out of his depth! Really bad reporting – standards at the BBC have really slipped, very embarassing for the corporation and the integrity of its news coverage. It makes you wonder how accurate BBC… Read more »

Scccc
Guest
Scccc

“Really bad reporting – standards at the BBC have really slipped, very embarassing for the corporation and the integrity of its news coverage. ” – Yet the BBC won’t be at all embarsssed. They’re playing to a particular audience who swallow that BS, accepting many of us see right through the propaganda. “It makes you wonder how accurate BBC reporting is on other issues here and around the world!” It really does. During the Scottish Indyref campaign the BBC told so many huge wallopers that trust levels disimtegrated, and many Scots started looking more closely at their reporting. The BBC… Read more »

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

I can’t see people in Pulford and Rossett changing their habits, nor those in the Maelor suddenly driving three times the distance to go to Wrexham rather than Whitchurch, or likewise from around Overton no longer going to Ellesmere. People who live near borders have a far more practical approach to them than those who live in the heartlands and capitals. That is how it is in borderlands across Europe and all attempts at preventing such cross-pollination between neighbours have invariably been disastrous. Numpties driving from Birmingham to Barmouth or Borth are not borderers so they have no excuses. They… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Correct about those Welsh who live close to the clawdd, it makes sense for Overton people to pop over the border to go to Tesco in Ellesmere which is very well-organised in terms of coronavirus measures (although there’s a new Aldi the same distance away in Ruabon). But I’d better point out that Pulford’s in England, Jonathan.

Michael frost
Guest
Michael frost

How ridiculous the welsh look over this issue, the welsh assembly is just a jumped up parish council, the welsh would do well to remember that if were not for the English wealth and power, wales would have the social and economic standing of Albania,

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.