Michael Fabricant says it’s not up to Mark Drakeford how Prince of Wales investiture goes ahead
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has said that it’s not up to Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford how the investiture of the new Price of Wales plays out.
Last Friday the First Minister has suggested that there may not be a need for an investiture for the new Prince of Wales at all, after meeting the new King Charles at Cardiff Castle.
But Michael Fabricant accused Drakeford of “politicising” the event and potentially “tarnishing” it.
The King made Prince William the new Prince of Wales in his first speech as Head of State, an act that has proven controversial as just short of 35,000 people have since signed a petition opposing the continuation of the title.
Speaking to TalkTV after meeting the King, Mark Drakeford said that Prince William should be given time to get used to his new role before thoughts turned to another investiture.
After that, they could start thinking about “whether there is a need for any further ceremonial underpinning of what has already been announced,” he said.
But Michael Fabricant told the Daily Express that the First Minister should not intervene as it was “essentially a matter for the King”.
“Frankly, I don’t think it is for Mark Drakeford, who politicises everything he touches, to tarnish the Investiture should the King and Prince of Wales decide it should go ahead,” the Lichfield MP said.
His intervention came after fellow Conservative MP and former Welsh Secretary David Jones said the Welsh First Minister’s comments were “deeply inappropriate” and that the title of the Prince of Wales was a matter for King Charles III and his heir alone.
David Jones, who is Conservative MP for Clwyd West, however, said that Prince William understood Wales better than Mark Drakeford did.
“I think it was deeply inappropriate of Drakeford to comment on something which is entirely a matter for the new King, not Drakeford or any other politician for that matter,” he said.
“Drakeford suggested they should get to know Wales. Well, I can say as an MP in north Wales, that the new Prince and Princess of Wales know North Wales much better than he does.
“Prince William was based in Anglesey as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot and the couple had a cottage there. They lived there for three years so know this part of Wales very well.
“I think the limits of Wales for Drakeford is Merthyr Tydfil, it’s like a Londoner’s view of England. He knows very little of north Wales.”
‘Decision has been taken’
On Tuesday Plaid Cymru called for a “national conversation” and a Senedd vote on the issue of having a Prince of Wales.
Speaking in the Senedd, Plaid Cymru deputy leader Sian Gwenllian said that the Welsh Government had a key role in responding to the decision to give the title ro Prince William “without consultation with Government or the people of Wales”.
“The Welsh Government has a key role now in leading a national conversation with the people of Wales on these issues, and the Senedd too has a crucial role as the democratically elected body representing the views of the people of Wales,” she said.
“So, will you confirm that the Government is planning to allocate time in the parliamentary timetable to allow the Senedd to have a meaningful vote on these issues?”
However, the leader of the house, Labour Senedd Member Lesley Griffiths, suggested that the decision to make William Prince of Wales had been taken but that there was room to discuss what he did with the role.
“You will be aware, because it’s been out in the public domain, that even if the Prime Minister couldn’t find two minutes to speak to the First Minister, the Prince of Wales did during his time of grieving call the First Minister,” she said.
“This decision has been taken now, and I think that’s really important to recognise. But what the First Minister made very clear was that it’s important how he develops his role going forward, and there is a debate to be had around that. ”
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