Release of Welsh Government podcast during local elections campaign criticised
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Welsh Government for publishing episodes of a podcast during the local elections campaign.
The first episodes of the 10 part series Unlocked: COVID Stories From Wales was released yesterday, with episodes also published on YouTube today.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said that the Welsh Government should not have spent £32,000 on the series as part of their Keep Wales Safe campaign.
“The Welsh Government should not be spending public money on PR campaigns,” she said. “It is disappointing that this has happened and the lack of transparency Labour has shown until this point.
“Furthermore, given we are now in the local election period the release of the broadcast is even less appropriate as it’s providing positive press stories about Welsh Labour’s leadership at a moment he is leading an election campaign.”
The YouTube version of the podcast is published by the Welsh Government’s own account, but the podcast is published by Keep Wales Safe.
The Welsh Conservatives had earlier criticised Welsh ministers for not being transparent about how the show was funded, saying that members of the public could mistake it for an impartial podcast.
“It says a lot that the First Minister is happy to defend his record on a podcast he has bought and paid for, but not in front of a Wales-specific Covid inquiry,” Andrew RT Davies said.
Plaid Cymru have also criticised the podcast, telling the BBC that both using public money “to create a podcast in which they are not mentioned and yet is used to promote the First Minister,” and also the “timing” was problematic during a local election campaign.
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