Labour Senedd Member hits out at ‘sheer gall’ of Rob Roberts over ‘coward’ jibe
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A Welsh Labour MS has hit back at a disgraced MP who labelled Wales’ First Minister “a coward”.
Delyn MP Rob Roberts directed criticism at Mark Drakeford after he resisted calls for an inquiry into the Labour-run Welsh Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Mr Drakeford was looking to “hide” as the media “focuses solely” on what happened in Westminster.
However, a Flintshire-based Senedd Member has slammed Roberts, who had the Conservative whip removed earlier this year after he was given a six-week suspension from the House of Commons for sexual harassing a member of staff.
Carolyn Thomas, who became Labour’s first ever regional MS for North Wales back in May, described him as “the real coward” for failing to resign in the wake of his punishment.
Launching a blistering attack, the former deputy leader of Flintshire Council, said: “The sheer gall of the man is incredible. An independent panel found that he made repeated and unwanted sexual advances towards a member of staff. Yet, he still sits in parliament. It’s easy to see who the real coward is.
“He should resign, and let the people of Delyn have a Member of Parliament that is not a complete disgrace.”
Roberts currently sits as an independent after returning to parliament, with his membership of the Conservative Party still under review.
He previously ignored calls from UK Government ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Robert Jenrick for him to step down.
The Delyn MP took aim at Mr Drakeford in a post shared on his Facebook page this morning (Wednesday, 25 August) after accusing him of seeking to avoid scrutiny by not holding a Wales-only inquiry.
He said: “Throughout the pandemic, Mark Drakeford has diverged from the policies of the UK Government at every opportunity.
“He has gone on record several times saying that the Prime Minister speaks only for England and that the Welsh Government is in control of what happens here.
“Yet he refuses to hold a Wales-only inquiry. Why? Because he knows that a UK-wide inquiry will be heavily Westminster-focussed and he will be able to hide in the footnotes as the media focuses solely on what happened in London.”
Roberts added: “Welsh Labour is the only government in Britain refusing to hold a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.
“The First Minister must do the right thing and announce a Wales-specific Covid inquiry immediately. But he won’t, because he’s a coward.”