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Liz Saville Roberts urges Rishi Sunak to sign pledge for honest election campaign

28 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Rishi Sunak at Westminster. Picture by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Emily Price

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader has urged Rishi Sunak to sign a pledge for honest politics ahead of the next election campaign.

Liz Saville Roberts intervention comes after the Welsh Conservatives were accused of making dishonest claims relating to agriculture and business support in Wales and the relationship between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

Rishi Sunak, along with Tory politicians publicly backed Welsh farmers outside the Welsh Conservative conference in Llandudno last week.

It sparked a ferocious row between the Tories and Plaid Cymru with Plaid’s Westminster leader accusing the Prime Minister of “shameless bandwagon jumping”.

On Sunday, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies claimed Plaid Cymru were in “coalition” with Labour.

The comment came amid a series of social media spats between politicians over post-Brexit agriculture reforms in Wales which have been branded “unworkable”.

The Welsh Conservatives say Plaid Cymru is responsible for cutting the rural affairs budget along with cutting business support in Wales.

The Welsh Tory leader said: “It’s a coalition in all but name. Very dishonest to claim otherwise. The so called ‘co-operation agreement’ gives Plaid access to civil servants, special advisers and ‘designated members’.

“Labour can only decimate Welsh farming because Plaid let them. If they wanted to, Plaid would pull the plug. Instead, they resort to misinformation and keep Labour in power.”

Cooperation

Plaid Cymru is an opposition party in the Senedd working with the Labour Welsh Government on 46 policy areas.

It is a cooperation agreement and not a coalition government because Plaid Cymru remain in opposition and there are no Plaid Cymru ministers in government.

The Tories have argued that the formal definition of “coalition” applies to the agreement because it is a temporary alliance between the two parties.

Plaid Cymru say the Welsh Tory claims are untrue.

The party has signed a pledge by Full Fact to commit to the standards set out for honest campaigning during the next election.

Full Fact is an independent fact checking organisation and has called on all the major parties across the country to:

    • Make sure that claims made by its leader, party and candidates are truthful.
    • Set out the party’s manifesto in ways that allow meaningful scrutiny of its pledges.
    • Ensure the party’s advertising is honest and truthful, and commit to have the party’s political advertising independently regulated.
    • Not use deceptive campaigning tactics to gain votes, and commit to new rules for honest party campaigning practices.

Pledge

Ms Saville Roberts urged the Prime Minister to sign the pledge, warning that “the alternative is to be complicit in dismantling democracy”.

Speaking in the House of Commons, she said: “Plaid Cymru has signed the Full Fact pledge for an honest general election campaign.

“One of their four asks is to renounce deceptive campaigning tactics. There is evidence of egregious misleading campaigning in Wales and elsewhere by the Conservatives in recent weeks.

“We all have a responsibility to campaign honestly, because the alternative is to be complicit in dismantling democracy.

“Therefore, will the Prime Minister sign Full Fact’s pledge for an honest election?”

The Prime Minister responded: “The Labour-run Welsh NHS is performing the worst in the UK, small Welsh businesses including pubs and restaurants are facing a crippling rise in their business rates, and indeed Welsh farmers are being decimated by the plans of the Welsh Labour Government.

“Those are the facts in Wales and we’re going to continue to point them out at every opportunity.”

Support

Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added: “Plaid Cymru is proud to support Full Fact’s campaign. Honesty in politics is crucial if we are to restore the trust which has been eroded in recent years.

“A lack of transparency means a lack of accountability which in turn undermines our democracy and lets down voters, leaving them disillusioned and less likely to make their voice heard.

“We would urge all other parties to sign up to this pledge too so that track records and manifesto commitments can be scrutinised in full, and to ensure that public debate is always open and truthful.”


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Eh? If he signs it he knows the likes of gbeebies, daily mail, telegraph times, twitter, facebook, US led think tanks etc. will mud sling on his behalf. Murdoch and all has his back. Pointless really because we know it will likely be the dirtiest campaign in the history of the UK. The Tory party is desperate to continue ruining the UK to make money off us. But they can keep their hands clean knowing there are ones out there to do the dirty for them. Boris showed what happens when you lie in politics. Sod all. We know what… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

Honest tory is an oxymoron!

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Honest politician is an oxymoron. They are all as bad as each other.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

I disagree, there are roughly 20 decent honest politicians in westminster. With the same numbers here in Cymru, in Alban and in Gogledd Iwerddon.

Beau Brummie
Beau Brummie
1 month ago

If LSR is such a moral absolutist in the dirty world of Westminster politics, why can’t she become the next Speaker at San Steffan?

Welshman28
Welshman28
1 month ago

Ha ha ha yes indeed follow Plaid with their claims because we all know Plaid tell the truth in their policies don’t they . Enough said

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Good luck with that.

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