Former Tory special adviser says 105ft Union Jack plans are ‘height of distaste’
Former Conservative special adviser Lauren McEvatt has branded plans for an eight-storey sized Union Jack in the Welsh capital as the ‘height of distaste’.
She was commentating on the proposed placing of a 105-foot flag to cover one side of a new UK government office in Cardiff city centre.
Speaking on ITV Wales’ The New Normal podcast, the former special adviser to the Welsh Secretary, said that while she supported some aspects of the UK Government’s ‘muscular unionism’, others she viewed as ‘a bit crackers’.
She said: “Do I think that 80-foot union flags in Cardiff are tasteful? No, of course, I don’t. I think they are the height of distaste.”
But she said that it was part of a wider policy of ‘badging’ infrastructure to highlight those areas that have benefited from UK Government investment.
“It does not do bad things to talk about how the UK government can ‘badge’ some of its expenditures,” she added.
“I would look around Cardiff Bay and areas that have had regeneration money from Europe and there would be a really big European flag and a big Welsh Government dragon and then there would be sod all to say a quarter or even a third of the funding was coming from the UK Government.”
A petition opposing the flag plans, launched by YesCymru, is currently approaching 20,000 signatures.
It states: “We believe that as the capital city of Wales, visitors, commuters and residents should not be faced with a gigantic Union Jack flag on arrival at Cardiff Central railway station.”
The UK Government has defended the proposals saying that the use of the flag was ‘normal practice’ for a project of this size.
A planning application was passed by Cardiff Council who determined that the flag would be ‘appropriately proportioned’ in relation to the size of the building.
Lauren McEvatt served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales from 2012 to 2014.