Drakeford dig at Tory MS who failed to vote on Covid passes: ‘He chose to be at Tory conference’
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.”
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.
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Why should anybody be suprised? Clearly a knees up in England is more important than casting a welsh democratic vote.
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.
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.
Well THAT IS a good point.
One has to question the tory senedd members or anyone suggesting that the vote was undemocratic as it was a democratic vote
His English master whistled and he came to heel.
You cannot serve two masters.
I hope his electorate will understand that next time.
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.
Perhaps he would rather be with the vile tories
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 »
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.
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.. 😉
So instead of doing his job that he is paid to do, he instead went to hang out with his toff mates.
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.
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.
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?
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?
I doubt the poster will acknowlewdge that fact