Plaid accuse First Minister of ‘shunning the Welsh language’ with S4C debate no-show
Plaid Cymru have accused First Minister Mark Drakeford of “shunning the Welsh language” after he decided not to take part in a Welsh language debate before the election.
Labour will be represented by Eluned Morgan in a debate on Pawb a’i Farn – a Welsh language programme with a similar format to Question Time – to be broadcast on S4C tonight at 9pm.
Eluned Morgan was in the last Welsh Government the Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language.
Plaid Cymru’s Arfon candidate Sian Gwenllian said that Mr Drakeford’s decision was “an insult to the language and the national channel’s audience” after he took part in the BBC Wales’s English-language debate on Thursday last week.
The Conservatives will be represented by Tomos Dafydd Davies, a Conservative candidate for Mid and West Wales, as leader Andrew RT Davies is not a Welsh speaker. Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price will represent his party in the debate.
“The televised leaders’ debates are an important forum during the election,” Sian Gwenllian said.
“They provide an opportunity not only for the party leaders to set out their stalls before the electorate, but they also give the public and moderators an opportunity to hold them to account on their key pledges.
“By refusing to take part in the S4C debate next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford is shunning the Welsh language and proving that he doesn’t consider this to be as important a debate as the English-language BBC Wales debate last week.
“Mr Drakeford’s attitude is an insult to the language and the national channel’s audience, and entirely undermined the Labour Party’s commitment to creating a million Welsh speakers.
“If the First Minister himself refuses to treat the language with respect, what hope is there of him succeeding in convincing others to do the same?”
Mark Drakeford last appeared on Pawb a’i Farn in January in a special programme on the Welsh Government’s Covid response.
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At least he can speak Welsh. Unlike some ‘Welsh’ politicians.
The majority of Welsh people can’t speak Welsh. Are you saying these people shouldn’t be welcome to engage in government?
I was brought up speaking English only, in England, to a Welsh family and Wales is my home. I am Welsh. Does that mean I would be inherently unqualified for office?
Joe This was about engaging in a Welsh TV debate, which you might not be able to undertake due to lack of a particular skill but it is a skill that Mark Drakeford possesses. So he could turn up if he chose. That said, he may be tiring of all the hot air generated by his own party and others and decided to have a night off. He can leave it to the others on air to bore us with their posturing and empty promises. Shame that so many other parties have been excluded.
What is a shame that lose an occasion to speak in welsh in front of the electors !