Telegraph columnists aims broadside at ‘sinking ship’ Welsh Tories
Daily Telegraph columnists Kara Kennedy has described the Welsh Conservatives as a “sinking ship” and claims toxic divisions have developed within the party since Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister.
She also attacked some Tory MS’s for taking a more centrist approach to policy and claimed the party in Wales needs an “injection of “energy.
Before the Tory leadership candidates’ hustings in Cardiff last week, Rishi Sunak praised the Welsh branch of the party for “doing a fantastic job to hold Labour to account”.
However, Ms Kennedy wrote: “In reality, Andrew RT Davies, the current leader of the Welsh Conservatives, has been steering a sinking ship for quite some time.
“Such is the dire state of affairs that some have assumed he is holding on for his chance of a knighthood.”
Describing splits within the party, she noted: “The infighting in the party has become more and more toxic since Boris’ downfall, as half of the party have decided that the only way to win seats is to kowtow to the overwhelmingly Left-wing majority in Wales, taking a more centrist approach to policy.
“The true blues in the party have rightly dug their heels in, hoping for a genuine Conservative force to return to Wales once more.
She concluded: “An injection of energy would be welcomed by these Welsh Tories. And it had better come quickly.
“Devolution is a breeding ground for nationalism and socialist policies.
“If either Sunak or Truss wants what is best for the Union, and to embody Thatcher, they will have to take back control of all corners of British Conservatism.”
The Welsh Conservatives have obtained the second-largest share of the vote at every general election in Wales since 1931 and currently hold 14 of 40 Welsh seats at Westminster and sixteen of sixty seats in the Senedd.
In June there were reports the Welsh branch was considering “splitting” from the UK party after disappointing results at the 2021 Senedd election and 2022 local elections.
A source told the Telegraph newspaper – the Conservative party’s broadsheet of choice – that they were looking to move “into a more Welsh-focused direction”.
The aim was the “creation of a number of policies in the pipeline that will appeal more uniquely to the Welsh electorate, whilst maintaining a strong Unionist position”.
“There will be clear blue water between both sides,” the source said, in a reference to Rhodri Morgan’s ‘clear red water’ speech – co-written by current First Minister Mark Drakeford, which declared Welsh Labour’s semi-detached status from the UK party.
“We will rebrand the Welsh Conservatives and run different policies to the ones Westminster produces,” the Conservative source continued.
“Welsh Conservatives want Welsh-focused answers to Welsh issues that arise in the devolved competencies.
“The mood is very much of abandonment by Boris. Senedd members were not even invited to Number 10 after the election.”
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