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Times columnist calls Welsh Secretary a ‘stooge’ for Boris Johnson defence

17 Apr 2022 3 minutes Read
Simon Hart being interviewed by Kay Burley on Sky News (Credit: Sky)

Simon Hart has come under further fire following his defence last week of Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister was hit with the first of what could be multiple partygate fines.

In a blistering column for the Sunday Times Matthew Syed accuses the Welsh Secretary of demeaning himself in a series of TV interviews and accuses MPs backing Boris Johnson of being “complicit in the creeping normalisation of deceit in public life”.

The Welsh Secretary was the man selected by the Conservative Government to defend the PM in a series of media interviews on Wednesday, at least one of which was widely described as a “car crash”

Confused

In an exchange with Sky News’ Kay Burley about the fines issued to Downing Street, Mr Hart appeared confused about how many fines had exactly been issued and denied that Boris Johnson had deliberately misled people with initial denials that he had not attended any parties during lockdown.

In a later interview with Times Radio, the Welsh Secretary said he didn’t think the Prime Minister should resign even if he receives multiple fines as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s probe into the series of parties held in Downing Street during the Covid lockdown.

In his column Matthew Syed says of Mr Hart, the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire:

“It was probably the greatest honour of his life to become secretary of state for Wales in 2019,” he writes.

“Last week, though, he performed a different role as the man nominated to defend the prime minister in the aftermath of partygate. Lightly sweating and with eyes betraying rising panic, he toured the studios performing intellectual contortions worthy of the Kama Sutra.

“He told Kay Burley that he didn’t know how many fines had been issued (despite a police statement issued on the matter that morning) and Nick Ferrari that “at the time, they were not considered to be offences”.

“On Times Radio, he watched disbelievingly as his own lips managed to claim that five fixed penalty notices would be no worse than one.

“He was seeking (one imagines) to pre-empt future fines being issued to the PM but he succeeded only in becoming the latest stooge to demean himself in the service of a serial liar”.

Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were all issued with fines on Tuesday relating to a gathering in the Cabinet Room on 19 June 2020 to mark Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday.

Multiple newspapers have carried reports suggesting the Prime Minister could receive further fixed penalty notices.

Downing Street sources said they were awaiting the outcome of the ongoing Scotland Yard inquiry after Mr Johnson conceded more fines could follow, having reportedly attended six of the 12 events under investigation.


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Llinos
Llinos
1 month ago

The TIMES said this? I wonder what the hidden agenda is. Is this a Dune scenario? First the beast, then the golden hero?

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Llinos

Shart is the *Welsh* secretary.

The Times’ only concern is how that will be perceived east of the border.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
29 days ago
Reply to  Llinos

The agenda is in plain sight.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Good work by Matthew Syed this time rightly ripping into Simon Hart but don’t forget this was the journalist who recently suggested having a combined UK football team. However, it is refreshing to see a Tory loyal newspaper hammering a Tory for defending an indefensible Tory leader.

Tracey H
Tracey H
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

To be fair to The Times, they’re old school Tories. I don’t agree with their politics but there was a time when they at least stood for law and order. Not like this slimy lot.

Llinos
Llinos
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Don’t go thinking they are suddenly good people for going into a feeding frenzy on one of their own. They will be back trying to undermine our entire right to exist befor you know it. Rotten to the core

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Yeah, I’d forgotten about the football idea, but still worth a listen

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
1 month ago

The most horrendous car crash interview of the year, probably while Johnson was driving! I never trusted the so-called Welsh Secretary Hart, particularly with his pathetic brown-nosing subservience to that corrupt serial-lying cheat and coward. Let’s hope that the nation of Wales will rise up and kick out the snivelling wretch out on his rich arse.

Elwyn Price
Elwyn Price
26 days ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

The Welsh people have no say in Harts appointment. He is a political appointee of the PM Johnson

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart is the Conservative equiverlent of the Iraqi Minister infamously called Comical Ali. He fronted his Ministry on TV and would tub-thump for his superior Saddam Hussain during the invasion of Iraq stating how there were no breaches of Iraqi airspace or territory was occurring even though Allied planes & tanks flew overhead and passed by his window. He became a figure of ridicule, as is Hart now. Unionism personified. Also, the Times writer Matthew Syed said how Hart in 2019 stated that becoming Welsh Secretary, and I quote: “Was probably the greatest honour in my life.”… Read more »

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago

That’s why he’s been appointed the WELSH secretary he is thick as a plank
God help Wales with him in charge

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

Fortunately, he doesn’t have much to be in charge of any more. Although, I’d sooner have him not in charge of anything Cymruwise. There are stooges, stooges and Simon Hart. So, I’d be happy to dedicate the following to the great man: I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General I only have information on matters Better Togetheral, I know nothing of Welsh kings, nor of battles historical Not Glyndŵr nor Llywelyn, in any order categorical. I’m not at all acquainted with matters mathematical, I mis-understand equations, both the simple… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

In colonial days the ‘never do well’ son or ‘least able’ prodigy was sent to help running the Raj. I guess nothing changes, Simon Hart personifies this custom as he certainly does not have the acumen or intelligence to be a front line minister in any of the administrations. Sending him out to the colonies where he could do the least harm was probably the intent!

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

In the colonies … where they could freely take the pith … 😉

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Spot on Sion

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Simon Hart, aka football, ‘ cause everybody is” putting the boot in”.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

You are crediting Hart with one ball too many, Gareth …

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

🤣🤣

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

I’ll try again. Just remember, a vote for a tory in the upcoming elections is a vote to keep idiots like this in power and to give even more credit to spineless Bitnats like RT Davies. They might be “just” local council elections, but they send a message to the higher ups. There’s never a good time to vote tory.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago

There’s never a good time to vote tory.

  • Really? I’d happily vote them into exile.
Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Good old Mathew Seyd, one of the very few contributors to the Times worth listening to.
For those of you who might enjoy hearing some more sound thinking try his radio stuff, some still available at BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/search?q=Sideways

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Just so so sad that SH has found himself in this position – for him personaly and for those who put their faith in him. Poor personal judgement at best and a lowering the role ( even further ) as Wales Secretary to that of defender of the in sins of others. SH is im sure a decent enough guy and apart from some dark age views on annimal killing via hunting was never seen ‘ as one of us ‘ by the old landed gentry. His recent desent into a cheer leader in chief role for the mistakes of… Read more »

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

nothing sad about it, he’s just being a typical tory politician.

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
29 days ago

The Peter principle states that people are promoted to the level of their respective incompetence. I think SH and many others in the current government are proof of this!

Richard
Richard
29 days ago

’ Typical ‘!! I think you may find the good the bad and nutters may be in each party Mark.

Indeed a fair number just move around the party landscape….

What is so sad is to see so many sell
out their own original good intentions for promotion, perferment and to climb the greasy pole.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
29 days ago

The powerful ones are gunning for Boris and Sunak. Why? Because they need scapegoats. It’s not a “cost of living crisis”, but a blowback from the sanctions policies against Russia. Welsh Gov. should be preparing special financing for Welsh farmers including freehold for all small farms, and granting farmers interest free loans, etc.
I’m sure there are also enough experts in Cymru to aid food production?

Richard
Richard
29 days ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

On the ‘ mark ‘ yet again my friend

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