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UK Government ‘can’t be run like a mafia’ says Welsh party leader over claims MPs threatened with reduced investment

20 Jan 2022 2 minute read
Westminster Parliament. Picture: Ged Carroll (CC BY 2.0)

A Welsh party leader has said that the UK Government can’t be run “like a mafia” over allegations that MPs were being “blackmailed” into dropping their opposition to Boris Johnson.

The chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, William Wragg MP, had earlier said MPs had been threatened with the removal of government investment in their constituencies.

Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds said that it was an “extraordinary and deeply worrying allegation”. She added that the UK Government could not be run “like a mafia”.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said that the government was trying to “browbeat its MPs into supine obedience”.

She said that levelling up funds should be used “to tackle inequality” not “to keep PM Johnson in No 10”.

One MP also told Sky News had he had been threatened with having the boundaries of his constituency changed. Wales faces a cut from 40 to 32 constituencies at the next election.

William Wragg, the MP for Hazel Grove, also accused No 10 of promoting embarrassing stories about those suspected of being opposed to the Prime Minister’s leadership.

“It is of course the duty of the government whips office to secure the government’s business in the House of Commons,” he said.

“However, it is not their function to breach the ministerial code in threatening to withdraw investments from members of parliament’s constituency which are funded from the public purse.”

He added that “intimidation of a member of parliament is a serious matter” and the reports he has been told of “would seem to constitute blackmail”.

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