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Welsh Government wants action from WRU over sexism accusations

24 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Mark Drakeford speaking in the Senedd

Mark Drakeford has told the Senedd that the Welsh Government had made it clear to the Welsh Rugby Union it wanted to “see action in order to restore confidence,” follow allegations of sexist and discriminatory behaviour.

A number of ex-WRU employees took part in an investigation by BBC Wales, which was screened on Monday night, making accusations about bullying, sexism, racism and homophobia at the governing body of Welsh rugby.

During First Minister’s Questions today (24 January), Mr Drakeford said that Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports, had spoken with representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union yesterday.

Leader of the Opposition, Andrew RT Davies, said he had watched the “Deeply uncomfortable revelations on BBC Wales about the culture and difficulties women in Welsh rugby face … I understand the Sports Minister has spoken with the Welsh Rugby Union – are you able to update what actions the Welsh Government are taking to engage with the WRU?”

Public recognition

Mr Drakeford said: “The meeting between Dawn Bowden and the Welsh Rugby Union took place yesterday. The Welsh Government made it clear to the WRU that we need to see action in order to restore confidence in the WRU. That requires public recognition by the WRU on the scale and issues that were (aired) on that programme.”

Mr RT Davies said he’d written to the Chair of the Senedd’s Sports and Culture Committee, “inviting that committee to give consideration to what role it might be able to play, in supporting those who found themselves on the receiving end of this treatment, but also working with the WRU to put in safeguards and best possible practice.”

Mr Drakeford agreed that there was a potential way for the Senedd Committee, in helping “to secure a path for the WRU towards a better future by using the powers that the committee here has to look into the allegations, and to assist in finding a better way ahead.”

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1 year ago

WRU is a seriously defective organisation. It can’t finance the game properly, has a dysfunctional relationship with its major clubs, treats its customer base with contempt, and now we find that the internal staff culture is rotten to the core. Yet the CEO and other senior execs see no reason to resign. Sack for major culprits is the only remedy. If our people had any backbone a boycott of 6 Nations would be called but the call of the stadium and its overpriced putrid beer is too strong for many.

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