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Times journalists asks whether Welsh MP was ‘speaking Welsh or Ukrainski’

15 Mar 2022 4 minutes Read
Liz Saville Roberts during the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme debate

A Times journalist has had a dig at a Welsh MP, asking whether she was speaking Welsh or Ukrainian during a debate on sponsoring refugees fleeing the war-torn country.

Liz Saville Roberts said ‘Diolch yn fawr Llywydd’ (thank you very much Speaker) as she rose to ask Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove a question on housing refugees in Gwynedd.

But in an article about the debate, Times journalist Quentin Letts included the aside: “Liz Saville-Roberts (Plaid, Dwyfor Meirionnydd) began by speaking Welsh. I think. Unless she is already practising her Ukrainski.”

The article which describes Welsh MPs as “snipers” also included separate digs at Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter, “Winter is seldom sunny,” and MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi who “blurts out these formulaic diatribes at such speed, whole syllables are lost overboard”.

Liz Saville Roberts had stood in the House of Commons to describe the UK Government’s sponsorship scheme for Ukrainian refugees as “delayed and patchy”, and criticised Ministers for keeping Welsh local authorities “in the dark”.

She said that her local authority, Gwynedd Council, had not been given a regional contact from the UK Government in relation to the scheme. She urged the UK Government to improve communication and for guarantees that “there are no brakes” on Wales’s ambition to be a ‘super sponsor’.

“My local authority, Cyngor Gwynedd, has been inundated with warm-hearted offers of accommodation and support,” she said. “They are concerned, however, that they are still being left in the dark.

“For instance, despite the announcement of a hotline for the public, Gwynedd council have not even been given a regional contact from this government.

“What will the Secretary of State do to fix his scheme’s weakness in communications, and what will he do to ensure that that there are no brakes from here in Westminster on Wales’s ambition to be a super sponsor as a Nation of Sanctuary for Ukrainian refugees?”

‘Compassionate’

Michael Gove replied that the Welsh Government were “anxious” about co-ordinating with local government in Wales.

“On the right honourable Lady’s point about the Welsh Government being a super-sponsor, I discussed exactly what can be done with Minister Jane Hutt alongside the First Minister of Scotland,” he said.

“If Gwynedd Council and its councillors require more information, my Department will endeavour to provide that. If she faces any challenges, I hope that she will contact me direct to ensure that her constituents are aware of how to help.”

Speaking after the session, Ms Saville Roberts added that what the UK Government was offering was nowhere near the level of support being offered by other countries.

“Visa sponsorship inevitably locks out the most vulnerable refugees, which is an unacceptable response to a humanitarian crisis. We should be waiving visa requirements as EU countries did weeks ago,” she said.

“If the UK Government insists on maintaining visa restrictions, then they should at the very least allow Wales to be given ‘super sponsor’ status so that we can welcome in refugees without delay.

“Wales has shown in the past that it can offer a welcome embrace to refugees, as was the case with families fleeing Afghanistan. This was only possible with the full engagement of councils, the Welsh Government and charities such as the Urdd. It remains to be seen that this new scheme will learn the lessons of this success.

“Today’s announcement leaves a list of unanswered questions, including what roles councils will have, what the funding and safeguarding arrangements will be and how the scheme will work with housing, welfare and other support services. I will be seeking answers from the UK Government on these matters.

“This delayed and patchy sponsorship scheme is not in keeping with our ambition in Wales to be a Nation of Sanctuary. We must reimagine our entire approach, and create a new compassionate asylum system that supports all those who need our help.”


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Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago

Ah yes Quontum Lutts the xenophobic Times’ chief hate-monger manages to insult two nations in a single sentence.
We know the creep is a Cymrophobe after years of slanders hurled at us. But it’s a bit scabby to insult Ukranians by calling their language Ukrainski.
Everyone knows it’s Ukranian, or in their own language Ukraïns’ka.
I would say BE BETTER, but this is the revolting times and they are not capable of common human decency unless you are from the shires, the Southeast, far right billionaires or a long line of inbred aristocrats

John Williams
John Williams
2 months ago

Quentin Letts is a sketch writer, whose job it is to satire parliamentary speeches. That said, he’s a tired old Britnat who takes easy swipes. Diolch yn fawr is way beyond his comprehension as his life takes place in the Westminster bubble; though he’d no doubt tell you that he once went on holiday to Lan Dude No.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  John Williams

Letts is “a sketch writer, satirist, wit” ! Is he ? The man is also adept at talking or writing b0ll0x big time. No doubt he goes down well with a certain type of Anglo Brit supremacist.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

Michael Gove, in his cocaine-fuelled frenzy claimed to have “personally spoken to every local authority” of which there are 550. Even at a measly three minutes to say; “Hi, Micky da Frog here, can I speak to your Chief Officer please” would have taken the lying little creep 127.5 hours.

David Lloyd Owen
David Lloyd Owen
2 months ago

In fairness, a decade or so ago, QL lamented the loss of Ceredigion’s Plaid MP for a Lib Dem “librarian” and that was when he wrote for the Daily Mail of all things. QL is driven by a deaperate need for a daily quip or what he hopes is a dose of ‘wit’. This is just noise, more honking from the Westminster mosh-pit, nothing more.

Tabor
Tabor
2 months ago

Da iawn Lis dalwch at,rhoi’r ffodiriaed mewn “AirB&B neu Butlins Pwllheli “?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

Sticks and stones eh Liz but it will take carbolic soap to get rid of the Letts effect…John Crace is a sketch writer! It’s just as well the other fellow’s garbage is behind a pay wall…

CJPh
CJPh
2 months ago

It’s always striking how these old dandruffers think that displaying ones ignorance is wit.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

No Quentin Letts, or should we now refer to you as Cretin Letts, Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville- Roberts was speaking the true native language of Britain that existed long before your Germanic speaking incomers migrated from Germany, Holland & Denmark. Fool!

As usual Anti-Welsh bigotry is rife in the English media towards our native culture & language. But Cretin Letts should think himself lucky that we’re not Jewish or his lowbrow career would be in tatters. And like Jewish people who said, enough is enough, maybe we should have zero tolerance and fight fire with fire.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Fight fire with fire ? But you are not allowed to torch his mud hut !

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Apologies for my oversight Yes, that would indeed require a different medium. Welsh water perhaps? England has enough of it.

And like Cretin Letts most mud hut dwellers are frequented by Scarabaeoidea, or to use its more familiar name. The Dung Beetle..

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Da iawn. Claim lots of upticks for that.

Gareth W
Gareth W
2 months ago

Amazing that some people seem to think that cultural ignorance and intolerance is something to be proud of

Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Gareth W

That’s the saeson for you!

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

Perhaps he’s still trying to live up to his ‘hillarious’ reputation on the Piranha at Trinity Coleg and now, like captain Queeg is still trying to recapture his moment of strawberry greatness.
Sad.

Grayham Jones
2 months ago

A English idiot that’s why it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
2 months ago

“It’s just banter”. Hmm. How we laughed…

Mark
Mark
2 months ago

Finding it rather interesting that over the last few days, tv and radio presenters haven’t had a single issue pronouncing east european place names or peoples names, no jokes or abysmal attempts at pronunciation, yet put a simple Welsh word in front of them and they go into an apocalyptic melt down, very telling.

Bobby23
Bobby23
1 month ago

The reason Wales is out in the cold is because of those halfwitted clowns in the building that cost millions of our money and now don’t bother to turn up. Sell the place of fill it up with the needy, homeless and Ukrainians .They have done nothing for us Welsh folk except to try and force old school ideals, denying our Brexit result “ we vote OUT” Finally if you go and insult Boris Johnson and his team you will definitely get nothing back. I am afraid the people running the Welsh government are out and out isolationists. Since devolution… Read more »

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