Senedd candidate ‘not arguing for lack of Covid compliance’ in tweets criticised by rival
A Senedd candidate has said that he was not arguing for or defending a lack of compliance in a series of tweets criticised by a rival candidate.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Conservative candidate Charlie Evans had commented: “Only 152 new cases and this is against a backdrop of compliance with lockdown measures clearly waning. Just go to your local beach!”
His Labour rival, Cian Ireland, said the message was “deeply irresponsible” when “rates in our constituency are currently raising”.
Charlie Evans however later clarified to say he was not arguing for or defending a lack of compliance.
“If you can walk there, then great. My local beach is a five minute walk,” he said.
“But I similarly don’t blame any young family or young couple cooped up in a flat to go there with such minimal risk.”
Gwynedd, of which Dwynfor Meirionnydd is a part, saw 14 new cases reported today, the most of any county in Wales. Gwynedd Council this year urged residents to stick to restrictions.
Cian Ireland had earlier said that Charlie Evans tweets were “deeply irresponsible from a Senedd candidate”.
“Rates in our constituency are currently raising despite the national trend downwards,” he said.
“As political candidates, we should be using our platforms to encourage people to stay at home and keep themselves and their communities safe.
“Charlie might do well to read the covid figures of the constituency he’s standing in, instead of once again demonstrating he has absolutely no idea of what’s going on locally.”
Charlie Evans later added that he had “been a critic of the restrictions placed outdoors” but “at no point have I encouraged anyone to break them”.
“I didn’t say just go to your local beach as a command. I said if you happen to be there within walking distance, you’ll see a lack of compliance. This was not a defence of a lack of compliance.”
On Friday the Gwynedd Prevention and Surveillance Group urged the public to follow the rules and keep the county’s communities safe.
Dafydd Williams, Gwynedd Council’s Head of Environment and Chair of the Gwynedd Prevention and Surveillance Group said that while there was light at the end of the tunnel they were not there yet.
“As a county, we have achieved so much together to protect Gwynedd’s communities,” he said.
“But now is not the time to let our guard down – we appreciate that the picture nationally is improving, but the situation in Gwynedd remains a cause for concern.
“We know that people want to get back to life as it was before Covid-19, but the fact is that the virus remains a very real threat. The latest figures show that we cannot let our guard down and that we must continue to follow the Covid-19 rules.
“For now, we need to stick to the basic rules to keep each other safe and to protect the vital NHS services we rely on.
“By playing your part to control the spread of this virus, you will undoubtedly save lives here in Gwynedd.”