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Welsh Conservatives are now ‘set on bulldozing devolution’ claims Plaid MP

31 Jan 2021 3 minutes Read
Liz Saville-Roberts. Picture by Plaid Cymru. Andrew RT Davies picture by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0).

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has said that “there is no longer any welcome for those who believe in Wales within the Conservative Party” as Wales approaches May’s Senedd election.

Writing in the Sunday Times today, Ms Saville Roberts cites Boris Johnson’s description of devolution as a “disaster”, and says that Andrew RT Davies’ return as the party’s leader in the Senedd has “bolstered the anti-devolution current in the party’s Welsh ranks, with some of his key allies blithely promising to abolish the Senedd”.

Following the news that current pro-devolution Member of the Senedd, Suzy Davies, had withdrawn from being a candidate in the Senedd election, Ms Saville Roberts says that the Conservatives are now the “party of Westminster centralism with its eyes set on bulldozing the green shoots of self-sufficiency and self-confidence in Wales”.

Looking ahead to the Senedd election, set to take place on 6 May, Ms Saville Roberts says that “Wales must decide whether we want control of that destiny, or whether we are content to let those who belittle us choose our future on our behalf”.

‘Ties’

Liz Saville Roberts MP says Boris Johnson has “his eyes firmly on the prize of running Wales again under full Westminster rule”.

“Andrew RT Davies’s rehabilitation as the Tories’ Welsh leader has only bolstered the anti-devolution current in the party’s Welsh ranks, with some of his key allies blithely promising to abolish the Senedd in their pitch to party members at selection hustings,” she wrote.

“The words of Mr RT Davies’s senior advisor and candidate for South Wales Central, Chris Thorne, were: ‘In any future referendum on the future of the Assembly, I would vote to abolish the institution.’

“The result of the internal party election saw moderate, pro-devolution candidates such as current Senedd Member, Suzy Davies, being unceremoniously ditched in favour of an array of Boris Johnson groupies. The days when the Conservative Party could legitimately claim to be pro-devolution are long gone.

“The endeavours of Tories such as Suzy Davies, Nick Bourne, David Melding to turn the party into a pro-devolution force since 1999 have been ditched since 2016. It is clear that there is no longer any welcome for those who believe in Wales within the Conservative Party. This is the party of Westminster centralism with its eyes set on bulldozing the green shoots of self-sufficiency and self-confidence in Wales.”

Ms Saville Roberts goes on to say: “Party loyalty runs deep. But the ties we share as a nation run deeper. Our shared history, our culture, our close communities mean that Wales is bound together in a common endeavour regardless of whether we presently agree on the final station of our future constitutional destiny.

“As we approach May’s election, those who believe in Wales must decide whether we want control of that destiny, or whether we are content to let those who belittle us choose our future on our behalf.”

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