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Row as First Minister promotes Pride Cymru wearing ‘Never Kissed a Tory’ badge

13 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Mark Drakeford wearing the ‘Never kissed a Tory’ badge. Image Welsh Government

Martin Shipton

The Welsh Conservatives have called on First Minister Mark Drakeford to apologise after a photograph of him wearing a badge reading “Never Kissed a Tory” was posted on social media.

The picture appeared on the Welsh Government’s Instagram account with a caption saying: “Who else is looking forward to Pride Cymru this Saturday?!”

Tory Shadow Minister for Equalities Altaf Hussain said: “I am deeply disappointed that the First Minister deemed it appropriate to politicise Pride Cymru by wearing a wholly offensive badge.

“Pride reminds people of how far we have come in ensuring people can be who they are. Pride events should aim to empower the LGBTQ + community, not seek to shame certain members.

“I sincerely hope the First Minister apologises for the offence he has caused.”

Mr Drakeford is not the first Labour politician to be criticised for displaying such a message. Last year Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell wore a red t-shirt ahead of Manchester Pride.

Chris Clarkson, Heywood and Middleton’s Conservative MP, said: “Puerile, divisive and completely against the spirit of inclusion that Pride is supposed to embody. Grow up.”

Tribal

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer later revealed that he had, in fact, kissed a Tory.

Asked by Times Radio whether he was “tribal” and might wear a “never kissed a Tory” badge, he responded: “Well I’m afraid I’ve broken that rule.”

He continued: “I’m not tribal — I think this actually comes from coming into politics later in life.

“Outside of politics, most of the time, most people at home or at work see a problem, get people around and try to fix it and bring people together, bridge people together and do it. That’s what I bring to politics. Therefore, I’ve worked across parties.

“I’m on very good terms with many, many Tory MPs. I’m not ashamed about it and I’ve got very good friends who are Tories and they’ve been very, very good friends of mine for a very, very long time and long may that last.”

The Welsh Government’s Instagram post

Pride Cymru has been run in Cardiff for more than 20 years.

A statement on the organisation’s website says: “Pride Cymru is a volunteer-led charity that works to promote the elimination of discrimination be it on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or ability.

“We are committed to campaigning for equality and acceptance of diversity within our communities. We recognise and celebrate the contributions made by LGBT+ people in society and we continue our work to create opportunities for LGBT+ people around Wales to connect and support each other.

“Pride Cymru is committed to promoting and raising awareness of the issues affecting the LGBT+ community as we want our society to be free from hate crime, discrimination and prejudice.”

Divisive

A Welsh Conservative source said: “Such a slogan is undoubtedly divisive. Many people may not be aware that the LGBT community is well represented in Tory ranks. Some prefer to keep it private.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We won’t be providing a comment.”

Pride events will be taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, centred on Cardiff Castle. Many thousands are expected to attend.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
10 months ago

The only way I could take the demands to remove that badge seriously is if it turned out he had kissed a Tory…..and even then, this is laughable tripe from the people who brought you the culture wars and English Fascism to Cymru.

Paul
Paul
10 months ago

The point here is that a government minister in a government photo shoot is wearing a (all be it a small) political badge.

If Labour want to post this that’s fair game, but the Welsh Govt shouldn’t.

John Hammond
John Hammond
10 months ago

My god, Tories are thick. Of course Pride is a political event – as well as a fun one. More of their culture wars, I guess. Doesn’t take much to upset them, does it? Snowflakes?

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
10 months ago

No me either, I’m very happy to say!

Riki
Riki
10 months ago

If only he had this much dedication for seeing his country prosper.

Meic Haines
Meic Haines
10 months ago

Peidiwch ymddiheuro! Twll eu tinau nhw i gyd!

Bachgen o Lerpwl
10 months ago
Reply to  Meic Haines

Twll tyn pop un or Plaid. Is that acceptable? I hate speech! STOP

Karl
Karl
10 months ago

Perfect fine bit of tongue in cheek. Glad I am in the same club.

hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago

Drakeford showing that he can be just as daft as ARTD. Sad bunch of buffoons.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
10 months ago

Welsh Conservatives? Surely an oxymoron?

Max Wallis
Max Wallis
10 months ago

Last year Pride excluded a group of lesbians from the Cardiff parade. It’s a disgrace that this increasingly divisive and politicised event gets Labour council funding and Labour Govt backing.

phil
phil
10 months ago

look at the state of him he’s a clown – people died in the COVID-19 pandemic as clearly stated in the enquiry today also £120 million has gone missing from Betsy Cadwallader involving his government and his ministers. Yeah he stands smiling laughing at everyone in Wales. He’s a joke and should quit!

Captainmidnight
Captainmidnight
10 months ago

Drakeford seems to forget that it was a Tory government that legalised gay marriage. Welsh Labour has adopted the politics of hate. They are driving many supporters away. Maybe not turning them Tory, but simply turning them into non voters is bad enough.

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