A Tory Senedd candidate has said that the “go away attitude” of people in Gwynedd and Anglesey is against everything he stands for.
Charlie Evans, who is standing for the Conservatives in the Gwynedd constituency of Dwyfor Meirionnydd, made the remarks during a discussion that was shared on Facebook about tourism in the area.
During the conversation, held on Zoom, critical comments were made about the of attitude of the area’s residents during a lockdown that was put in place to stem the spread of Covid-19.
According to Mr Evans, Gwynedd and Anglesey, are “less willing” to attract “inward investment” than Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy.
Residents in the area were unhappy about reports of people breaking Covid-19 regulations in order to visit holiday homes when there were lockdown restrictions.
North Wales Police investigated claims that second home owners were sending their suitcases of clothes via courier so that they aren’t caught travelling unnecessarily.
A group of GPs from across Wales wrote to the First Minister Mark Drakeford and the to the Health Minister Vaughan Gething urging tougher action on second homes in Wales, including making second home occupation illegal until the Covid-19 emergency is over.
In the Zoom discussion Mr Evans said: “I’m very very passionate about this issue, and concerned that hospitality’s become a bit of a scapegoat I guess, and tourism. I’m very concerned I guess at probably some of the anti-visitor stuff that we’re sort of seeing as well in the area.
“It feels like Flintshire and Denbighshire are willing to attract the inward investment and things like that, where as in Gwynedd and Anglesey, probably less so Conwy, but certainly Gwynedd has got a bit of a sort of a ‘go away’ sort of attitude and that goes against everything I stand for, so this is why I’m joining the fight.”
He then asked: “The comments about the anti-visitor feeling in Bala, where you’re based, what do you think of that?”
Someone on the Zoom chat responded: “I mean that’s interesting. The first lockdown there were lots of signs, you’re probably aware, about you know ‘go away British, we’re in lockdown’. I think that was unfortunate in many respects.”