Guto vs Guto: Former Welsh Tory MP disappointed to see friend take Downing St comms chief role
A former Conservative MP #has said that he was disappointed to see his friend Guto Harri take a role as Boris Johnson’s communication chief at No 10 Downing Street.
Guto Bebb was the MP for Aberconwy before having the whip removed for voting against Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan. He was replaced as the candidate at the 2019 election by Robin Millar.
Writing in the Welsh language Barn magazine, Guto Bebb said that when the news came that Guto Harri had accepted a job with the “immoral” Boris Johnson, his “heart sank”.
“[Guto Harri] is an anti-Brexit champion, an adviser to those Conservative members pushing for a second vote and a proud Welshman, choosing to step into a job where the Prime Minister’s arrogant behaviour over the lockdown and his use of ‘big lies’ in the tradition of Trump and Cummings such as his comments about Keir Starmer and Jimmy Savile will need to be defended,” Guto Bebb said.
“Guto’s choice is to stand with a Prime Minister who is praising British sovereignty while attacking the rights of the Welsh and Scottish parliaments. Rights won after the ‘people’s vote’ – but of course, to this Prime Minister, the people who count are the people of England, not the electorate of Wales.
“Yes, it is strange to see Guto, who has every right to refer to the hypocrisy of Welsh nationalists, choosing to work with an English nationalist who has only one cause close to his heart – himself.
“That’s why I, more than most commentators who have been criticised by Guto, cannot welcome the appointment of this ‘patriotic, conscientious Welshman’ to his new post.”
However, he added that Guto’s point in his interview with Golwg360 that his success was treated differently to others in Wales because he wasn’t on the left wing of politics rang true.
“Consider also the importance placed by Welsh speakers on the language and the way Guto, has been excommunicated is even more striking,” he said.
He said that most Welsh speakers who had moved to London made excuses about their failure to pass it on the next generation.
“Given this, it would be reasonable to expect a Welsh father like Guto Harri, who is in a mixed language marriage in London and who has ensured that his children are fluent in Welsh, to be subject to positive appreciation and attention,” he added.
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