Boris Johnson accused of ‘contempt’ for Wales after he ‘misled the people’ of the country at PMQs
Prime Minister has been accused of being “out of touch” with Wales and with “contempt” for the country after he wrongly claimed Bridgend was becoming a centre for battery manufacturing.
Responding to a question from Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts, Boris Johnson said Bridgend was “going to be one of the great centres of battery manufacturing in this country, if not the world”.
The video was subsequently retweeted by Welsh Secretary Simon Hart. However, the UK Government later confirmed that he had “misspoken”.
It seems to have been a reference to an electric battery factory which had been planned for Wales but will instead be built in the north of England.
Former Welsh First Minister and Bridgend Senedd Member Carwyn Jones accused the Prime Minister of heading a “government in London completely out of touch with Wales,” adding that it was “a real insult to my constituents”.
Ogmore Senedd Member Huw Irranca-Davies said that it was “tempting to dismiss this as a Prime Minister who is out of his depth & doesn’t do his homework”.
“But it actually it reveals a disregard – or even contempt – for South Wales,” he said. “He really doesn’t care.”
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, later called for a retraction and an apology Boris Johnson.
She also said that Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, had shared false information about investment in Wales.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Liz Saville Roberts asked about R&D figures showing that Wales receives around 40% of funding per head in England.
“Presented with evidence of chronic and ongoing underfunding of Welsh R&D projects, the Prime Minister chose to defend his record by citing false information to Parliament,” she said.
“Whether intentional or negligent, the Prime Minister’s answer misled the people of Wales, while the Secretary of State for Wales threw his support behind him.
“Mr Johnson’s ever-expanding catalogue of gaffes, insults and untruths means that we have come to expect no better. We are inured to his abuse of facts.
“But for Mr Hart to broadcast false information about investment in his own country – the interests of which he has a duty to defend – is reprehensible. I expect a retraction and apology.”