Telegraph use picture of wrong man while criticising Drakeford trip to World Cup
The Telegraph news website used a picture of the wrong man as it criticised the Welsh First Minister’s trip to the World Cup.
Under the headline ‘Mark Drakeford spends £13,000 of taxpayers’ money on World Cup trip’ the news site showed a picture of FAW Vice-President Mark Adams in the crowd in Qatar.
The article itself notes that Finance Minister Vaughan Gething attended the England game, but shows what it claims to be a picture of Mark Drakeford at that same match. Mark Drakeford attended the match against the USA while the Welsh Government boycotted the Iran game.
The newspaper had picked up on an FOI request by the Welsh Liberal Democrats which revealed the cost of the Welsh Government’s journey.
The Liberal Democrats had repeatedly called on the Welsh Government to cancel the trip over human rights concerns. They said that the total cost showed that it was also an unnecessary use of public money during the cost-of-living crisis.
Mark Drakeford had said that the decision to go was a “close run thing” but that it was too good an opportunity to promote Wales on the world stage to turn down.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Labour Party to donate £13,000 of its own funds to human rights charities addressing the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people, women and foreign workers in Qatar.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said: “What these freedom of information requests show is what we long suspected, human rights have taken a backseat in the Welsh Government’s priorities during its engagements with Qatar in favour of investment deals.
“There is also a question over whether spending £13,000 of taxpayers’ money on a trip for two Ministers to Qatar is good value for money, especially in a cost-of-living crisis.
“In order to make up for helping to legitimise a tournament built on human rights abuses, I am now calling on the Welsh Labour Party to donate £13,000 of their own party funds to human rights charities that address the various issues faced in Qatar.
“I am also reiterating my party’s calls that the Welsh Government office in Qatar should be shut. If it is unable to promote human rights, including LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of workers, alongside other values of our country, then it shouldn’t be open.”
Speaking in Doha last week, Mark Drakeford had defended his decision to go to Qatar and attend business meetings there amid concerns over human rights in the country.
He pointed to the fact that Qatar was investing millions of pounds in expanding a major gas terminal in Wales.
“In the end, I am the First Minister of Wales,” he said. “I think that comes with some responsibilities to represent Wales at a rare occasion when Wales are on a platform such as that of a World Cup.”
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