News

Drakeford dig at Tory MS who failed to vote on Covid passes: ‘He chose to be at Tory conference’

10 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0). Gareth Davies speaking on Senedd TV.

Mark Drakeford has said that a Tory MS who missed a crucial vote on Covid passes chose to be elsewhere rather than “discharging his responsibilities to be in the Senedd”.

Gareth Davies’ vote would have stopped the Covid passes from coming into force tomorrow. He claimed that a technical mishap had stopped him from voting.

Tom Swarbrick on LBC today asked Mark Drakeford it if was fair that the vote had stood.  “Is that democratic? How can that vote be allowed to stand if one person wasn’t able to vote?” he asked.

But Mark Drakeford said that the vote was entirely legitimate.

“Well, 59 of 60 members of the Senedd managed to be there to cast their vote,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say that the problem was necessarily one of Zoom. The member concerned had chosen to be at the Conservative Party Conference, rather than discharging his responsibilities to be in the Senedd.

“Everybody else managed to get it. I’m afraid that’s just how democracy is. Somebody could have been stopped because they were in a car accident or something.

“If they fail to get to the Senedd their vote can’t be cast. It’s just how it is. The vote was taken. The vote is the vote. The pass comes in on Monday.”

‘Concerns’

Gareth Davies is yet to explain the exact nature of the technical problems that prevented him from voting. The official conference guide shows that he was due to speak at a Young Conservatives event at 4pm that afternoon, two hours before the vote.

But in a statement, he said he was “angry” he had been unable to access the Senedd’s remote voting system.

“I’m deeply upset, frustrated and angry at last night’s events and my inability to cast a vote against vaccine passports,” he said.

“Yesterday evening, IT challenges meant that I was unable to access the voting system.

“Throughout the voting period, I was speaking with the chief whip and Welsh Conservative staff members in an attempt to solve the IT issues.

“The Senate currently operates under a hybrid system that means only half of our representatives can vote in the chamber, with others voting remotely from elsewhere.

“I was working and representing the group at the Conservative Party conference and I would have been able to vote remotely if I had been able to access the remote voting tools.

“Concerns have been raised with the Senedd’s ICT department.”

In a statement after the vote however Elin Jones said she gave the member “every opportunity” to be present, including giving him her phone number to vote verbally.

“It is a member’s responsibility to give themselves sufficient time to secure their Zoom connection in time for voting, just as it is for any member travelling to the Senedd to vote,” she said.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ricknorth
Ricknorth
12 days ago

Why should anybody be suprised? Clearly a knees up in England is more important than casting a welsh democratic vote.

Alun
Alun
12 days ago

He was at a party conference stuffed with party workers and managers. It defies belief that none of them could help him sort out a zoom connection or even make a simple phone call to the Presiding Officer.

Erisian
Erisian
12 days ago
Reply to  Alun

Why would they help him indulge his foriegn hobby?
Up there, he’s nothing but a Party Member, it’s only here he been fortunate enough to have been given any real responsibilities.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
12 days ago
Reply to  Alun

Well THAT IS a good point.

George Bodley
George Bodley
8 days ago
Reply to  Alun

One has to question the tory senedd members or anyone suggesting that the vote was undemocratic as it was a democratic vote

Last edited 8 days ago by George Bodley
Erisian
Erisian
12 days ago

His English master whistled and he came to heel.
You cannot serve two masters.
I hope his electorate will understand that next time.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
12 days ago

I don’t anything in the way of a “dig” by the FM against this Tory MS. Drakeford simpy pointed out, as did the Llywyd, that Davies had plenty of opportunity to be Zoom-ready before the vote, and, failing that, he could have phoned his vote in. He’s got a lot of explaining to do to his party leader in the Senedd.

David Charles Pearn
David Charles Pearn
8 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Perhaps he would rather be with the vile tories

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 days ago

Slippery Gareth Davies might bemoan not making his vote, then like a whining Tory toddler use lame excuses how he was not allowed to vote remotely, but strangely never explained what technical glitch prevented him from doing so. Pull the other one. The fact is there for all to see. The vote was legitimate, just to inform that mummy’s boy Tom Swarbrick of LBC. Gareth Davies failed in his duty to work for his Constitutes by not attending a vital Senedd vote, but opted to attend a jolly to brown-nose his Tory party hierarchy at their Manchester Conference. What a… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
11 days ago

He was probably told off by his party in Wales for not casting his vote – so he’s now trying to throw the blame elesewhere. You don’t need Zoom to make a phone call and cast your vote. It’s obvious he put the Tory conference before the Senedd. Don’t worry Mr Davies – the day of your party’s poor treatment of Wales is coming to an end.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
11 days ago

Gareth Davies is yet to explain the exact nature of the technical problems that prevented him from voting…..think we can guess the exact nature of those ‘technical problems’ Davies was having.. 😉

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
11 days ago

So instead of doing his job that he is paid to do, he instead went to hang out with his toff mates.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
11 days ago

Setting aside tribal yah-boo-ery for a moment, I am really surprised to learn that the Senedd meets during party conference season. It is after all a perfectly normal thing for politicians to attend their party conferences.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
11 days ago

Er the senedd doesnt suspend its business for party conferences being held in England – and rightly so. But even this didnt prohibit davies from voting. The dunce was given every opportunity to vote by alternative means but – for a reason he has yet to explain – he failed to do so.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
11 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Curious, because 47 out of the 60 MSs we elected stood for parties that are organized on a GB-wide basis and hold their party conferences in England. Are you suggesting that Welsh politicians should not expect to attend?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 days ago

Surely, if they are MS’s, their first duty is to their electorate, and, by implication, to take part in a vote in the Senedd?

George Bodley
George Bodley
8 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

I doubt the poster will acknowlewdge that fact

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.