‘Gutter politics’: Labour MP criticised for ‘claiming credit’ for free school meals
A Labour MP has been accused of claiming credit for the introduction of free school meals in Wales.
Nia Griffith, who represents Llanelli, was responding to the news that it will be introduced as part of a wide-ranging cooperation agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government.
She was told to leave the “gutter politics” in Westminster by Plaid Cymru Senedd member Mabon ap Gwynfor.
The Westminster politician, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, had suggested that Plaid Cymru is “supporting” the First Minister Mark Drakeford and “our excellent progressive” Welsh Labour “policies” which she said included “extending free school meal provision”.
It was pointed out to her that Labour has previously voted down attempts in the Senedd by Plaid Cymru to introduce free school meals. Introducing free school meals was a part of Plaid Cymru’s Senedd election manifesto.
In response to Nia Griffith, Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Now then, Nia. Let’s talk about the spirit of this agreement. Cooperating includes compromise.
“Labour voted repeatedly against even extending free school dinners a bit. Plaid now accept you can share in the credit of implementing our policy. Please don’t claim it as your own.”
In response to Rhun ap Iorwerth, former Welsh Government minister, Alun Davies said: “I suspect that both parties will need to learn this lesson over the coming period. Some generosity of spirit and goodwill will help. I’m just glad that children will be fed!”
Adam Johannes said: “Well done Nia! Your tireless public campaigning as a Labour MP for universal free school meals over last year is well documented.
“Labour skillfully cornered Plaid into supporting free school meals for all primary school kids by voting it down 3 times in the Senedd. Genius.”
‘Why not be humble’
Alex Tiffin said: “Welsh Labour voted down extending Free School Meals twice before. Why not be humble and accept @Plaid_Cymru policies are progressive and good, instead of trying to claim them aa (sic) Labour’s.”
— Nia Griffith MP (@NiaGriffithMP) November 27, 2021
Plaid Cymru MS Mabon ap Gwynfor replied: “@NiaGriffithMP please point to which page in Labour’s manifesto had extending the free school meal provision, or indeed the programme for government?
“This is meant to be grown up, different politics. You can leave the gutter politics in Westminster.”
Meirion Thomas said: “Nothing new with Labour they are just jumping on the bandwagon of Plaid lost count how many times Labour voted against this free school meals.”
Jack Henry said: “Cooperation (n): the action or process of working together to the same end.
“Welsh Labour voted repeatedly against even extending free school dinners in the Senedd. @Plaid_Cymru now accept you can share the credit of implementing their policy. Plaigarism isn’t a good look Nia.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.