Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Starmer at odds with Welsh Government as he confirms Labour World Cup snub

24 Oct 2022 2 minute read
Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has revealed that he will not attend the World Cup in Qatar next month, and says neither will any of his senior colleagues.

A Welsh Government spokesperson had confirmed on Saturday that First Minister Mark Drakeford will be attending the tournament, alongside a Welsh Government delegation that includes Economy Minister Vaughan Gething and Dawn Bowden, the deputy minister for Arts and Sports and the Chief Whip.

Last week, it was reported that Lucy Powell, the UK party’s shadow culture and sport secretary, received an invitation to attend from the Qatari government but turned it down.

This follows concerns over the treatment of construction workers and the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in the country.

Asked if he would go to the final if England reached it, Mr Starmer told LBC: “No, I wouldn’t. I’d love to, but I think that the human rights record is such that I wouldn’t go, and that would be the position of the Labour Party.”

Pressed on whether he would attend any of the games, he said: “No.”

He said the case would be the same for his senior colleagues.

Diplomacy

Last month Mr Gething told the Senedd that a delegation from the Welsh Government would travel to Qatar “to promote Wales and engage in diplomacy”.

They are expected to watch each of Wales’ group games against the USA, Iran and England, as well as others depending on the progress of the team in the tournament.

During his statement, Mr Gething acknowledged there were “significant challenges” with the World Cup being hosted in Qatar, citing its human rights and workers’ rights records, and some LGBTQ+ fans not travelling there.

He said: “We will use our platform as an opportunity to express our values and to demonstrate that Wales is a nation of values on the world stage.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are proud that Wales will be competing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“We believe that it is better to engage with countries that do not always share our values on human rights, LGBTQ+ rights, workers’ rights and political and religious freedom.

“Engaging with countries provides an opportunity to develop a platform for further discussion, to raise awareness and to potentially influence a change in approach.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

The situation is a bit different when you are in government than in opposition. I’m guessing the Welsh government is going there not for Qatar, but for the fact that the whole world will be viewing there and we need some political representation other than the useless English government that Wales never voted for.

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
1 month ago

I came down here to say I was with Kier Starmer on this one but having read your comment I can see the other side now!

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  Stuart Cane

Yeah starmer has double standards he’d visit Israel and the US whose human rights records are spalling .

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

Who will Bristolian Dawn Bowden be supporting?

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

Today, a story broke about Australian women sueing Qatar over forced vaginal exams.

This may be the only opportunity the team get to play at a World Cup, so they should go. But they should be our only respesentatives. Our politicians should be staying away from such a horrible regime.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack
hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Exactly. We’ve endured a great deal of virtue signaling from this feeble crew and when an opportunity presents itself to send a message we get 3 of them grabbing the chance of a jolly and pretending they are going to influence those rabid adherents of an array of repressive ideals. And which budget will they be draining for this trip?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I’d start with a fact finding trip supported by Cwmni Egino and other ‘private venture’ / Gov. enterprises…I wonder how this will go down with the green men and women of festival land…

George Thomas
George Thomas
1 month ago

As far as I can understand Starmer’s response to union strikers is that a government in waiting is different from leading a protest group and the options of actions are very different. Aren’t the options of actions very different here too? What will Starmer do when PM and is asked to meet Qatar regime? Will he refuse? But how much will Drakeford be able to raise issues regarding LGBTQ+ or migrant worker’s rights? If not at all then substance of travel will be lost and risks being seen to tacitly support the regime as is. It’s difficult, but I’d expect… Read more »

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

This is not a political matter. Starmer may well be a cowardly Brexit enabling weathercock, but who cares if he goes to the world cup or not?
I’m not going either, but that’s because I couldn’t give that much of a stuff about football.
I mean I hope Cymru do really well, but I won’t be watching it

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago

Yet starmer would take an invitation from Israel and no doubt the US two of the worst offenders of human rights the man has no scruples clearly.

Last edited 1 month ago by George Bodley

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.