‘I subsidise Wales’ says English Tory MP in attack on Welsh Covid rules
An English Tory MP has said “I subsidise Wales” during an attack on Welsh Covid-19 regulations.
Michael Fabricant, who represents Lichfield, made the claim after being told that the decisions made in Wales were “none” of his “business”.
He also suggested that the Welsh Government’s style guide for civil servants is “unhinged”, despite the UK Government giving the same advice to its own civil servants.
In response to the comments, the Welsh Government’s Counsel General, Mick Antoniw has accused the Conservative politician of telling the people of Wales to “know your place”.
He also said that the “Tories are clearly rattled and trying to divert attention from their disastrous government in Westminster”.
England has the highest seven-day positivity rate any country in the UK, as cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 surge in the country.
The governments of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have put tighter restrictions in place in a bid to bring down the number of cases, while Boris Johnson’s UK government has refused to do the same in England.
This has led Professor Andrew Watterson, of the faculty of health sciences at the University of Stirling, to suggest that England is “out of step”, adding that “one would have expected a more precautionary and preventative approach” from the UK Government.
Michael Fabricant said: “Labour’s Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, is showing why people think him to be unhinged.”
In response to the cancellation of a Parkrun outdoor exercise event in Wales, he said: “And now he’s banned @parkrunUK @parkrunbecause he thinks it ‘unhealthy’. His is all political posturing regardless of the epidemiological case.
Andrew Bettridge replied: “Have you ever done a park run or are you just using it to score political points? Not sure why middle England Conservative MPs are all of a sudden so interested in a policy area that they have no influence over.
Fabricant replied: “I have. Yes.”
Bettridge said: “Unless you’ve got interests in becoming a Senedd member, it’s really none of your business.”
Fabricant said: “I subsidise Wales and all this nonsense as all English people do. My mum was Welsh, I speak Welsh (badly) and I hate to see the way Cymru is being run.”
‘You Welsh are so ungrateful’
The Welsh Government’s Counsel General, Mick Antoniw said: “Translates as ‘You Welsh are so ungrateful. Some of my best friends are Welsh. I’ve got nothing against the Welsh, I’ve even been there, but know your place.’ Old Tory colonial attitudes clearly survive even in this 21st century. Was hoping @WelshConserv would speak up for Wales.”
He added: “The Tories are clearly rattled and trying to divert attention from their disastrous government in Westminster. In the absence of any credible Welsh Conservative voice they are scraping the barrel in desperation for Tories prepared to have a go at Devolved governments. So Sad.”
The Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cllr Andrew Morgan, told Fabricant: “You got the Tory whatsapp message too did you? Funny how English Tory MPs are now so concerned with what’s happening in Wales. Focus on your own problems mate and maybe the UK won’t then be called plague island!”