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Minister asked to ‘correct the record’ after answer to Welsh Youth Parliament member

10 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Lee Waters

Siân Williams

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change has been asked to “correct the record” after telling a Welsh Youth Parliament Member (WYPM) that Labour leader Kier Starmer “would block all North Sea oil drilling”.

In a letter dated 7 July and seen by Nation.Cymru, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd has accused Lee Waters MS of giving a “factually incorrect” answer to Ella Kenny WYPM for Swansea East.

In a joint session between WYPMs and MSs on 21 June, Ms Kenny put a question to Mr Waters about achieving net zero – in which he referred to the Rosebank oil and gas field west of Shetland in his reply.

The UK Government is expected to give the go-ahead to Rosebank soon, with some news outlets predicting approval this week even though the government’s own climate advisors have voiced their concern about the development.

Climate activists have vowed to step up their campaign to put a stop to the proposed new oil field.


Ms Kenny asked the Deputy Minister: “With the passing of the draconian Public Order Bill prohibiting groups like Extinction Rebellion from effective protest and greenhouse gases at a 4.5 million year high, what are the Welsh Government’s plans to ensure radical transition to net zero, and how do they intend to hold Westminster accountable in stopping new oil and gas?”

Ella Kenny WYPM for Swansea East.

In his reply, Mr Waters said that 60% of the emissions that need to cut by 2050 are in the hands of the UK Government and that 40% are in the hands of the Welsh Government. The fact that they’re on the brink of authorising a brand-new oilfield in Rosebank (west of the Shetland islands), with 500 million barrels of oil set to be approved, shows how out of step they are with both the science and with public opinion …

“Keir Starmer has said that if there’s a Labour Government he would block all North Sea oil drilling, and that is the right thing to do. We both have responsibilities, not just to talk, but to act.”


UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has done a series of U-Turns in recent years including shifting his party’s position on North Sea Oil and Gas projects.

In early June the party was slammed by green campaigners when it said that it would not revoke any North Sea oil and gas licences granted by Rishi Sunak’s Tory Government in Westminster.

Mr ap Gwynfor points out in his letter to Mr Waters that Keir Starmer has given no commitment to block North Sea oil drilling.

In his letter, which is written in Welsh, the Plaid Cymru MS says that Mr Waters implied that UK Labour and Mr Starmer “oppose the Rosebank development, this is wrong and goes against what Mr Starmer has said … I would like you to correct the record.”

Nation.Cymru has asked the Deputy Minister for Climate Change for a response.

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Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
9 months ago

It is Keir Starmer that needs to be corrected!

Rosebank is a travesty and a tragedy, and XR should be strongly supported in its opposition.

Or is it that the WYP that needs to be stopped from asking awkward questions?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Someone tell Lee Waters that today is the 38th anniversary of the sinking of the Greenpeace Flagship Rainbow Warrior by French State Terrorists and if him and his London bosses find the kitchen too hot, there is a door…

As Bob Dylan said…”if you can’t lend a hand” you and Clark Kent should get out of the way cos the times aren’t changing fast enough…

9 months ago

This man is a bit out of control and dropping clangers left right and centre – least of all the debacle of voting for the wrong thing unintentionally 3 times. He has come to his Climate role as an ex-Director of Sustrans – a one agenda pressure group. Nothing wrong in that as an individual but it does not lend itself to balance and having a bigger picture as a democratically elected individual bound to represent all of his constituents. His statements on this matter show this and would likely be rejected as short sighted by the vast majority of… Read more »

9 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

LW is a decent enough guy who finds it on occasions difficult to balance strict and expected party loyalty/discipline with saying / doing the right thing.

9 months ago
Reply to  Richard

He’s an absolute solo steamroller (despite recent signs of some slight humility and way too late backtracking). And yes he is is human and under the lash big time for that rolling over people, which is tough on him. Like Blair, he’s convinced he is doing good and what’s best for us. He’s not as he goes too far in everything, dismisses backlash and cherry picks. But he will never get that and should be reined in and his ears given a good clean!

Last edited 9 months ago by Dafydd

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