Keir Starmer defends mentioning Wales only once in 11,500 word essay
Keir Starmer has defended mentioning Wales only once in a 11,500 word essay.
Labour leader in Westminster said it was “about the issues that matter most to working people across the whole of the United Kingdom” in response to criticism.
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts the essay, which has “one solitary mention of Wales”, was evidence that the Labour Party’s “two decades in Welsh government barely registers on his radar”.
In his essay The Road Ahead, published by the Fabian Society think tank, Starmer attacked what he called the “multi-headed hydra of nationalism” that he said is “pushing apart our country and tearing at the social fabric”.
He also said: “We are proudly patriotic but we reject the divisiveness of nationalism.”
In the essay, the Labour leader set out what he stands for and how he wants to change the UK, ahead of his party’s conference.
Though Wales is the only country in which Labour is in government, it is mentioned once in the essay, as he discussed the challenges faced by the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an interview with ITV Wales, Starmer said: “The essay is about the issues that matter most to working people across the whole of the United Kingdom, and they’re based actually on my reflections on the visits to places I’ve been including in Wales, so actually lots of Welsh families have got their fingerprints on that pamphlet.
In response, a spokesperson for Welsh Labour said: “First Minister Mark Drakeford, along with other leading Labour figures will focus on Labour’s role in Wales, and in power across the UK, in the coming days.”
In response to the essay Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said: “Keir Starmer’s 14,000 word essay? Don’t bother searching for ‘Wales’ – we only receive one solitary mention.
“Yet again, the Westminster Labour leader shows that his party’s two decades in Welsh government barely registers on his radar”.
But former Welsh Government minister Alun Davies defended the essay.
He said: You don’t have to put the word ‘Wales’ into every sentence! Surely we can engage in some political dialogue about values and priorities without this constant sense of being the victim? #VictimhoodCymru”.