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War of words after Welsh Lib Dem leader brands Welsh Conservative MP’s votes ‘consistency cruel’

16 Jul 2021 4 minutes Read
Fay Jones MP (CC 3.0) by Richard Townshend. Right, Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds.

A war of words has broken out between Wesh Conservative MP Fay Jones and Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds, after the latter branded the former’s votes at Westminster “consistently cruel”.

Fay Jones, who ousted Senedd Member Dodds as an MP in 2019, voted to end the UK’s commitment to contribute 0.7% of gross national income on international development aid.

She did so in line with the UK Government whip. But the move was criticised by several prominent Conservatives, including former Prime Ministers John Major and Theresa May.

Jane Dodds said that the vote would unleash “unnecessary human suffering” on a scale that was “hard to imagine”.

“It means more children sold into slavery. It means more children dying in famine and conflicts in Yemen and Syria,” she said.

However, Fay Jones has shot back, saying that Jane Dodds comments were “not just misleading” but also “downright deceptive”.

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic which has plunged the economy into the deepest recession for 300 years,” she said.

“As much as I regret the decision to cut overseas aid, repairing the damage to our economy is the difficult and responsible thing to do. Of course the Liberal Democrats would be ignorant of this – they evade responsibility at every turn.”

‘Valuable’

Fay Jones added that even at 0.5% the overseas aid budget was still greater than the amount of money the Government gives out in its own welfare system.

“This week I voted to restore the 0.7% commitment as soon as possible – something which I believe is extremely valuable,” she said.

“On top of the £10 billion we send abroad, the opposition are conveniently forgetting enormous investment the UK Government has made in the Oxford AstranZeneca vaccine.  Through Covax, we are sending 3 billion doses of the vaccine around the world.”

Jane Dodds however said that cutting international aid was “a step backwards in our race to halt the climate emergency”.

“It means fewer people having access to education, economic opportunities, basic sanitation and life-saving medicine. It means efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 becoming harder.

“Fay Jones voted to stop young children being reunited with parents and families in the UK. She voted against providing free school meals to children over Christmas during a pandemic.”

‘Disgusted’

Jane Dodds also criticised Fay Jones’ opposition to football players taking the knee before matches.

“This week she continued in her failure to stand on the side of England football players when they take the knee against racism and broke her own manifesto promise to the poorest and most vulnerable,” Jane Dodds said.

“This Conservative UK Government is not consistent about many things, but they are consistently cruel.”

However, Fay Jones said that she was “disgusted” that the Liberal Democrats had chosen to “misrepresent” her views on the matter.

“While many have an issue with the symbol of taking the knee, any stand against racism should be respected,” she said. “I condemned those who booed the England players on national television.

“Once again, the Liberal Democrat leader deliberately chooses to peddle falsehoods in order to stoke a culture war. She ought to be ashamed of these comments.

“This is purely motivated by a cruel hatred of the Conservatives. I really wish the Liberal Democrats would concentrate on doing their job.”

On Wednesday Fay Jones defended her opposition to taking the knee, tellling BBC news that it was “a political symbol and I think that’s the problem that certain people have had with it”.

She later backed a campaign by Powys bookshop Book-ish to deliver copies of Marcus Rashford’s book You ar a Champion to schools in Wales.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 days ago

Fay Jones has the economic understanding of a small root vegetable if she really believes saving £2bn in foreign aid is going to touch the sides of the £37Bn failed Test and Trace fiasco her party paid it’s donors or the £900Bn in QE they have lashed out since 2010. Furlough alone is costing up to £14Bn a month for heaven’s sake.

The poor quality of Tory MPs newly elected as Johnson grovelers would give Michael Heseltine nightmares and kill Harold Macmillan outright.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 days ago

By your acts so shall you be judged…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Well darling Fay just voted for the Health and Care Bill second reading which has nothing to do with Wales but enables ministers to run the English NHS with no oversight, appoint private health companies onto boards and trusts and for companies to be awarded contracts without tendering.
A licence to thieve.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

It only takes a crisis – not even as big as Covid – to fetch in the vultures. Having a Tory government so lacking in principles has helped the scavengers enormously. All done in the name of efficiency, yet surprisingly devoid of any performance metrics ! I wonder why.

Mandi A
Mandi A
7 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

And sell your data, but people just will not listen.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
7 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

I do so love a good Bible quotation! Here’s another “Tories, they peak with forked tongue”. Come to think of it that’s from The Lone Ranger not The Bible.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
7 days ago

Sure it wasn’t from The Loan Arrangers guide book?

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
7 days ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

Nah, Tonto used to say it.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 days ago

When I, in later life, found out that Tonto meant stupid in Spanish I was totally gutted…

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ah, but what did it mean in his native Comanche, the tribe who made the early invaders of their territory look very stupid ? West Texas and East New Mexico was very much a “no go” zone for the Spanish/Mexican rulers and the early Anglo Texans were wary of that expanse of territory until the improved technology of killing- rifles and revolvers – tipped the balance.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
7 days ago

I don’t like politics where people “play the man, not the ball” and this is a classic example. If Jane Dodds had stuck to the issues rather than attacking an individual she had good points to make. The cutting of the UK’s overseas aid budget is being done under the cover of the pandemic not because of it and the hand wringing by many Tory MPs is purely political. This UK government is HAPPY to spend money on a Royal Yacht and shiny new weapons of war whilst simultaneously cutting support for the poorest people on the planet, I don’t… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Nick Randall-Smith
Dai
Dai
7 days ago

Fay Jones is my MP, and has an appalling voting record. By attacking this voting record, Jane Dodds is speaking for me, and IS playing the ball, not the man. The egregious Fay Jones is the only representative I have in the House of Commons and must be held to account.

Mandi A
Mandi A
7 days ago

3 typos in this piece, come on lads. This reminds me of Vardy v Rooney

Chris
Chris
7 days ago

And this, ladies and gentlemen is UKBIN politics in 2021. Twitterstorm after Twitterstorm.
I agree with the ex MP that the current conservative party are consistently cruel and scandalous, which they defend with faux outrage and lies.
The sooner Cymru is free of it the better.
But Conservatives in Wales? You’re getting nowhere with the seatwarmer ReTweet as your seemingly eternal interim leader. Scour your ranks to try and find someone not touched by scandal or incompetence and elect them as your leader. The Gammony Influencer from Twitter (GIT) really doesn’t help your image.

Last edited 7 days ago by Chris
hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I like the GIT bit, but the rank and file party members go for that image. Voters, especially the “swing” variety, on the other hand may be more fickle (or discerning) and decide that they don’t like that confused yet servile stance. ARTD has overdone the follow Westminster line on Covid at a time when much of Wales, even the anti-Labour segment, have taken to Drakeford’s differentiated and more steady approach. That also has its faults but it’s easier to accommodate a man who seems to be trying than one who responds to the call of a London based boss… Read more »

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
7 days ago

Another Tory with lovely teeth.

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 days ago

…..all the better to bite you with.

Pete Roberts
Pete Roberts
7 days ago

Fay makes the mistake of calling racism political it’s not, it’s an abhorrent attack on the individual based on the prejudices of the protagonist. By claiming it’s political it legitimises the action as being an acceptable part of day to day life.

The promotion of the Rashford book in the face of this is just tokenism to cover up a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the abuse that citizens up and down the land are experiencing every day.

Racism is not now should it ever be a part of our day to day political life

Dai
Dai
7 days ago
Reply to  Pete Roberts

Of course racism is a political issue. It has become far more common in Britain thanks to political attitudes and actions on the part of the Tory Party,

Pete Roberts
Pete Roberts
7 days ago
Reply to  Dai

No Dai it’s an issue that should be dealt with by politics. The approach taken by the Conservatives this week normalises it by saying those opposing it are making a political statement. There is a subtle but significant difference.That said I agree the Tories have whistled on this far too often, often for their own gain.

Mark
Mark
6 days ago

here we have a classic example of a politician proving just what little understanding they have of foreign aid spending and how it benefits the UK.

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