Watch: Plaid Cymru MPs wave goodbye to Simon Hart as more resignations hit UK Government
Plaid Cymru MPs Liz Saville Roberts and Hywel Williams sarcastically waved goodbye to Welsh Secretary Simon Hart in the House of Commons this morning, as chaos continues to surround the UK Government.
Mr Hart confirmed earlier today that he would not resign from Boris Johnson’s cabinet, but 16 Tory MPs have quit since Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak submitted letters of resignation yesterday evening.
Ynys Môn’s MP Virginia Crosbie is the only Welsh MP to have stood down so far.
She resigned from the UK Government yesterday evening saying the Prime Minister’s position was now “untenable” after his botched handling of sexual assault complaints against deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
In a rowdy House of Commons, awaiting the arrival of Boris Johnson for Prime Minister’s Questions, Simon Hart, was also asked by Plaid Cymru MP “when will he be going?” but refused to answer “that tempting question”.
Welsh shadow Secretary of State Jo Stevens said that she was “quite surprised to see the Secretary of State here this morning” at Welsh questions, adding: “Perhaps he can’t leave this disintegrating government because his passport application is stuck in the queue.”
— Owen Williams 🏴🇺🇦 (@OwsWills) July 6, 2022
During Welsh Questions, Mr Hart also called on First Minister Mark Drakeford to “drop his ridiculous plans for a tourism tax”.
Conservative MP Simon Baynes said tourism is of “crucial importance” to his constituency of Clwyd South. He asked the Secretary of State to join him in “condemning the Welsh Labour Government’s plans to introduce a tourism tax, which will do great damage to the tourism industry across the whole of Wales”.
Mr Hart said: “I think I can do even better than my honourable friend requests me to do by simply quoting the words of the chief exec of UK hospitality Kate Nicholls when she says: ‘The tourism tax is ill-thought through and proposed without any impact assessment’.”
He read out more of the quote and later in the session urged Labour MP Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) to encourage Mr Drakeford “to drop his ridiculous plans for a tourism tax, to drop his ridiculous plans for various other means of punishing successful businesses in Wales”.
He added: “If he did that, actually, perhaps we could create some lasting jobs in Wales rather than simply listening to his political protestations.”
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