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Mark Drakeford describes Welsh Tories as Boris Johnson’s ‘musical doormat’

16 Jan 2021 3 minute read
Mark Drakeford and Boris Johnson (OGL v.3).

The First Minister has described the Welsh Tories as Boris Johnson’s “musical doormat”.

According to Mark Drakeford, every time the Prime Minister “wipes his feet on Wales, they jump up to sing Rule Britannia.”

Mr Drakeford made the comments in an interview with Martin Shipton of the Western Mail when he was asked about the way he believed the opposition parties had responded to the Welsh Government’s handling of the pandemic.

He accused the Welsh Conservatives of “slavishly” following “whatever is done in Westminster”, and of trying to “undermine” some of the “difficult decisions” he has made.

Mr Drakeford said: “I think the Conservative Party in Wales is at a very low ebb. In the early years of devolution, when Nick Bourne was the leader, I used to feel that he had a political project to create a distinctive image for the Welsh Conservatives where the ‘Welsh’ meant something.”


‘Different position’

He added: “I think today’s Conservative Party in Wales is in a very different position. They are losing their moderate, mainstream Members [of the Senedd], who are either leaving or being deselected, and they are much more characterised by their hard-line right-wing.

“That means in terms of coronavirus, they have refused time after time to support the Welsh Government in the actions we have taken. I would go so far as to say that sometimes they have tried to actively undermine the difficult decisions that have had to be made.

“And they slavishly follow whatever is done in Westminster. In many ways it seems to me the political purpose of the Welsh Conservative Party is to be a sort of musical doormat.

“Every time Boris Johnson wipes his feet on Wales, they jump up to sing Rule Britannia.

“I think they will go into this election appealing to a very narrow part of what President Trump would no doubt refer to as his base.

“Plaid Cymru, I think, has been different to that. Broadly, they have tended to support the thrust of Welsh Government policy. Understandably, they have differences of view on some aspects of it and they challenge the Welsh Government when they think it necessary.

“I have felt that challenge comes at least from a shared understanding of the necessity of responding to this public health crisis with the seriousness it deserves.”

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