Welsh Conservative MP criticised for promoting England-only coronavirus guidance in Wales

David Jones MP. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Clwyd West MP, David Jones, has been criticised for promoting Boris Johnson’s new lockdown guidelines when they don’t apply in his own constituency.

Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the lockdown would be eased in England, including permission to travel to exercise.

Meanwhile, First Minister Mark Drakeford has not changed his government’s ‘Stay at Home’ guidance and said that people should only exercise in their local area.

Police forces in Wales have reiterated the Welsh Government’s guidance, fearing an influx of travellers within and into Wales mistakenly following England’s lockdown laws instead of Wales’.

But David Jones MP, a former Secretary of State for Wales, updated his Twitter profile to include the England only stay alert message and promoted the changes on his timeline.

David Jones’ Twitter profile

Plaid Cymru’s Clwyd’s West candidate, Dr Elin Walker Jones, said that the mixed messaging was in danger of confusing the public.

“We need to be clear that here in Wales the rules are people must stay at home,” she said.

“David Jones is sending a confusing message to his own constituents and putting people’s health at risk, it’s very disappointing.

“It seems he is more interested in currying favour with the Prime Minister than serving his own constituents. He should change it immediately.”

 

‘Unclear’

Aberconwy MP Robin Millar also posted a message on his Facebook page criticising the Welsh Government for promoting a different message to the UK Government.

“Why did they think it was helpful to make an early announcement on Friday, before our Prime Minister’s planned announcement tonight, Sunday, about what would happen from Monday?” he asked.

“It is important to remember the Welsh government makes decisions about public health in Wales and Welsh laws prevail in Wales,” he said. “The advice on work and play, here in Wales remains the same as it was yesterday. It has not changed.”

However, he said the divergence made it “unclear how this difference prevents people from travelling to Wales to their property or to enjoy the many parts of the countryside that are still open”.

The Welsh Government have said that people should not travel to exercise, including travelling into Wales.

Robin Millar also said that he would contact the Chief Constable to discuss the policing of these new matters.

“Policing as you will be aware remains a UK government matter,” he said. In practice, the police follow the laws passed by the Welsh Parliament, including those relating to coronavirus.

‘We can do this’

Last night Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford responded to the Prime Minister’s statement by saying that “our advice has not changed in Wales”.

Health is devolved to Wales and so the bulk of the response to the pandemic is managed by the Welsh Government.

“This evening, the Prime Minister has set out the minor changes, which are proposed to the lockdown rules in England over the next three weeks,” he said.

“I set out the modest changes to the stay-at-home regulations we are making in Wales on Friday. These will come into force tomorrow afternoon.

“Here in Wales, we will change the regulations so people can exercise more often and allow garden centres to open, if they can comply with social distancing.

Wales guidance (left) and the new English guidance (right).

“Wherever you can you should stay at home. If you need to leave home for work, exercise or shopping, you should stay local and stay alert.

“Coronavirus has not gone away. The way we behave over the weeks ahead will continue to have a profound impact on our NHS and our ability to save lives.

“If you go out, stay local and stay safe.

“We will continue to make decisions, which are right for Wales, using information and expert advice about how coronavirus is circulating here to keep us safe.

“The health of the public is paramount. It will inform our decisions and we will continue to inform you as we plan for our future in the weeks ahead.

“Thank you for all your help and support. Together we can do this.”

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John EllisMike O'Dellmax wallisAl JamesSteve Duggan Recent comment authors
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Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Not surprising the man is a 100% useless cnut. Elsewhere it is said of Boris’ ambiguous bluster on Sunday …. “That new message appears designed to appease some of his critics within the Conservatives – mostly on the Brexit-backing libertarian right of the party, who want to see more emphasis on people being trusted to take their own decisions about risk.” Trusted ? to take own decisions? Yeah right, this is the same lot whose incontinent urge to go wandering about unrestrained would be a laughing stock if the consequences weren’t so serious. Still it could present an opportunity for… Read more »

max wallis
Guest
max wallis

End the political bickering! Everyone knows the “Stay Home” slogan is well beyond its sell-by date No longer the exception “where necessary”, Drakeford now says “for work, exercise or shopping, you should stay local and stay alert”. It’s time he grit his teeth and accepted Boris Johnson’s new slogan. It’s also the opportunity to criticise Boris’s R-statistic. Don’t wait for rising death numbers to show up. Case numbers start rising 2-3 weeks earlier, so use mass testing to detect that and take action. Drakeford and Gething did not need to wait for death statistics in care-homes to foresee the epidemic.… Read more »

Helen Lewis
Guest
Helen Lewis

What does Stay Alert mean?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

stay awake ? look out for tourists ? 2nd home owners ? other undesirables like politicians and scammers ? Take your pick.

Mike Owen
Guest

I understood it to mean keep supporting the ‘LERTS’ apparently ‘LERTS’ are particularly susceptible to ‘COVID’ and other forms of toxic waffle put about by ‘Big Daddy’ and the lads ! ..

John Young
Guest
John Young

Stay home means just what it says. Even the morons who choose not to follow that advice know what it means. A simple message.

If you asked 100 people what stay alert means you’d have 100 different answers.

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

perhaps Stay Apart … considering they were keen to emphasize the need to maintain social/physical distancing even as the Govt loosens the lockdown.

FZP
Guest
FZP

No in Wales we dont need to accept Boris’ current stance on what England is doing, especially as it’s the wrong choice, he could have joined the other 3 countries in UK in what we are doing but no he decided to do his own thing. We’re Wales and the responsibility for health is devolved to our Government, what our government had suggested to remain under lockdown is right, it is too soon to come out of lockdown, look at what’s happened in Europe they were in a better position than UK when they started relaxing lockdown rules and they… Read more »

max wallis
Guest
max wallis

The Welsh Minister Gething has not been following “the science” but his Chief Medical Officer Atherton who’s proved a failure. The 4-nation CMOs together decided to keep the worn-out STAY HOME slogan, together promoting this R-value still not low and may be increasing. the statistics show it’s increasing due to the spike in care-home deaths, that’s no evidence for a national semi-lockdown, only for acting on care-homes. Boris Johnson had enough gumption to over-ride the CMOs, being probably backed by SAGE, but still mishandles the R-statistic. Drakeford’s press department put out the reject Boris message, but Drakeford in his video… Read more »

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

What is fact is that the pandemic is worse in some areas due to poverty and denser population. So what we do not want are idiots, be they from South east Wales or beyond Offa’s dyke visiting sparsely populated rural areas in the west.

K. K
Guest
K. K

Stay alert? To what. You can’t see a virus can you or am I missing something?

Steve Duggan
Guest
Steve Duggan

The message in Wales is simple – Stay at home – This ‘Alert’ message is confusing and there is no need for it. Secondly, Welsh health is devolved, it means we take our own decision on ending the lockdown it does not mean – ‘grit teeth and accept Boris’ new slogan’. Unfortunately, I do not trust Johnson and the Tories, their motives for ending lockdown sooner are dubious and, I suspect, has more to do with pacifying hardliners in the party than saving lives. We in Wales have the opportunity to avoid another Tory party internal squabble.

Carol Loughlin
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Carol Loughlin

Robin Millar has the arrogance to criticize the Welsh Government for promoting a different message to the UK Government? Has he not realised that on health matters Boris may only speak on behalf of England? Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are united in promoting the same message. If anyone is out of step it is England.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Yet another M.P whose instinct is to put on his jackboots and stomp all over the devolved advice.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

…and clap, clap, clap, like a commie commisar.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Core government policy – maximize opportunities for Tory M.P’s to make big bucks out of crisis. Some things just don’t change whether it’s wars, overseas aid, or health crisis. Some politician will get to fill his/her boots.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/11/healthcare-firm-advised-by-owen-paterson-won-133m-coronavirus-testing-contract-unopposed?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

Phil
Guest
Phil

No doubt we will still have the anti Welsh community still voicing their thoughts that we would be better dictated to by the English establishment, rather than make and take our decisions ourselves . I’m not a fan of mark drakeford as I think he and the Labour party should be fighting for more powers for Wales but at least in this important subject he has taken the lead in deciding what’s best for Wales. If the ones in Wales feel we are inadequate to make our own choices then please feel free to follow Boris Johnson advice and go… Read more »

max wallis
Guest
max wallis

“Stay Home” is for children, can’t be trusted. “Stay alert”recognises adults out and about think for themselves what behaviours and places to avoid. “Stay alert” too, to poor practice in a supermarket or health facility and point it out. Instead of griping over queues at Barry Island chippies, challenge the failure of the Council to manage the queuing (repeatedly).

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Max, you answered your own thing. “Stay alert” means the council should manage your idiot neighbours.

Al James
Guest
Al James

Sorry but why should “thinking for themselves” adults also expect a Council to control queuing?

max wallis
Guest
max wallis

Ask a ‘behavioural scientist’!. A parent bringing up children soon finds that increasingly treating them as adult, giving them further responsibilities, gradually teaches adult behaviour. These behavioural scientists extend this to groups, even football crowds to stop the racist chants, and know well that some enforcement is needed, as well as behavioural ‘nudges’.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Robin Millar, listen up: Like it or not, the Welsh police will be expected to help to enforce the lockdown restrictions outlined in Mark Drakeford’s announcement on the 9th of this month, and will not be expected to stand idly by while second home owners from inside or outside Wales head for the Welsh coast. There is nothing “unclear” about Wales’s travel restrictions.

The ‘playground Wales’ image that you have of Cymru is currently untenable, and may well remain so once this virus is in the bin. You have acted irresponsibly and risked putting people’s lives in danger.

K. K
Guest
K. K

Not Welsh. Servant complex. Complete simpleton.

Next.

Mike O'Dell
Guest
Mike O'Dell

Just remind him please where he lives !
Remember you can move to England anytime if you prefer to or like their government a lot more, than the Welsh government !

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

“It seems he is more interested in currying favour with the Prime Minister than serving his own constituents. He should change it immediately.” Doubtless Mr Jones would like a ministerial post again, having had one of which he was subsequently relieved. They all would; and I doubt Mr Millar’s any exception. Is he any relation to Darren, by the way?! But I doubt ambition’s the only driver here: for a Conservative – even a Conservative ostensibly supportive of devolution – a national emergency requires us all to line up behing the Leader. And there can of course only be one… Read more »