Labour have branded the new leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, a “Donald Trump tribute act”.
Senedd Member Andrew RT Davies was appointed the new leader today after the resignation of previous leader Paul Davies yesterday.
But Labour drew attention to controversial comments Andrew RT Davies had made about the storming of the US Capitol earlier this month.
At the time there were calls for his resignation as he seemed to compare those who opposed Brexit with those attempting to overturn the election of US President Joe Biden.
Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner reacted to the news of Andrew RT Davies’ re-elevation to the leadership by comparing him to former US President Donald Trump.
“Just weeks ago, Labour called on the Conservatives to suspend Andrew RT Davies and remove him as a candidate over his disgraceful and dangerous comments equating peaceful democratic debate in the UK with deadly violence at the US Capitol.,” she said.
“The Conservative Party failed to act and he has refused to apologise. It is a disgrace that the Welsh Conservatives have just appointed him leader and their candidate for First Minister of Wales.
“The people of Wales deserve so much better than this Donald Trump tribute act.”
What did Andrew RT Davies say?
Andrew RT Davies had told Keir Starmer that he cannot credibly condemn rioters on the US Capitol because he supported the Remain campaign.
The Labour leader had condemned the rioters as a “direct attack on democracy”. Thousands of supporters of US President Donald Trump had breached the Capitol, where lawmakers were meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
But he was told by Andrew RT Davies: “To be honest I’m not sure you’re in the strongest position right now given you campaigned to overturn democracy and the will of the British people.”
He was referring to Keir Starmer’s advocacy of a second Brexit referendum while in previous Labour leader’s Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.
Fellow Senedd Member, Labour’s Alun Davies, responded to Andrew RT Davies: “If Andrew RT Davies does not understand the difference between democratic debate and a difference of opinion and what we are seeing in Washington this evening then I wonder if he understands democracy at all.”
Andrew RT Davies responded: “The scenes in Washington are a disgrace as I’ve said and all stem from politicians – like your good self – who refuse to accept the results of democratic elections.
“A refusal to accept democratic results is wrong be it in USA, UK or Wales.”
Paul Davies’ resignation
Andrew RT Davies was appointed to the role of leader following a meeting of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd this morning.
Paul Davies resigned as leader yesterday after it was alleged that he and other politicians drank alcohol on Welsh Parliament premises, days after the ban on serving drinks in pubs took effect.
The former leader said that he was “truly sorry” for his actions, and that they had “damaged trust” with the Welsh people. Conservative MS Darren Millar, who was also involved, has also said that he is stepping down from his frontbench role.
An internal investigation has established that alcohol was consumed by five people at the Senedd during a lockdown. According to a statement by Llywydd, Elin Jones MS, four of these are elected members, and the Standards Commissioner will now investigate to see of the Code of Conduct was broken.
It has been concluded that a possible breach of regulations occurred and the matter has also been referred to Cardiff Council.