Liberal Democrats slam Plaid Cymru for ‘U-turn’ on Covid passes
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised Plaid Cymru after they reversed their vote against Covid passes in October to vote for their extension last night.
Plaid Cymru had voted against bringing in the passes in October, but the vote passes anyway after a Conservative Senedd Member failed to vote over Zoom.
However last night Plaid Cymru backed the extension of the passes to theatres and cinemas, saying that there was now further evidence that they were needed.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds however said that the vote showed that Plaid Cymru would only “stand up for liberal values and civil liberties when it suits them best”.
“In their U-turn Plaid Cymru have also shown us today that they will only stand up for liberal values when it suits them politically,” she said.
“The facts on the ground have not changed at all since the last vote has been held. Unless Plaid Cymru knows something the rest of us don’t, there is no reason they should have changed their mind.”
Speaking in the Senedd, Plaid Cymru’s Health Minister said that he had based the party’s decision on research in The Lancet as well as speaking to scientific advisors.
He said that they were still concerned that the Covid passes were based on self-certification for the results of lateral flow tests, and that they had voted against in October in the hope of seeing a “stronger model” but that what was implemented was “better than nothing”.
“But if the Government does feel, for example, that we need to make the case for extending Covid passes further in the future, something that could offer further challenges in terms of implementation, then we will again insist that the evidence is stronger again,” he said.
Jane Dodds also criticised the Welsh Conservatives, saying that it was “utterly hypocritical” that they were “defending civil liberties and evidence-based policy when their Party is currently trying to push through voter ID against all evidence showing that it is ineffective and unnecessary”.
Speaking in the Senedd, the Conservatives’ health spokesperson Darran Millar said that they had warned that the introduction of COVID passports in Wales would set a “dangerous precedent”.
“Vaccine passports are not a route out of restrictions, they are restrictions,” he said. “They should not be expanded into other premises when they should never have been introduced or put on the table in the first place. Vaccine passports are coercive, ineffective and anti-business; they limit our freedoms but they do not limit the spread of Covid-19.”