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Welsh Gov’s Constitutional Commission ‘futile’ attempt to ‘pander to nationalists’ says Tory Lord

18 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Lord Byron Davies speaking in the House of Lords

A Conservative member of the House of Lords has attacked the Welsh Government’s Constitutional Convention as an attempt to “pander to the nationalist party for support”.

Baron Davies of Gower, who was previously a Senedd member, and MP and Chairman of the Welsh Conservatives, criticised the choice of Professor Laura McAllister as co-chair noting that she had “stood twice for parliamentary election for Plaid Cymru”.

He said that the constitution was “a reserved matter” for Westminster and therefore the commission was “futile” and its findings of “little value”.

His comments came in a debate in the House of Lords about the Constitutional Convention.

“My Lords, as was already mentioned, the constitution is a reserved matter and, as such, the findings of this commission will be of little value in a UK context,” he said.

“Does my noble friend the Minister agree that, in addition to the multi-millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money wasted on an airport purchase, to the axed M4 Newport relief road motorway project, which has cost Welsh taxpayers £140 million to date, and to the worst A&E record in the UK—I could go on—this commission is yet another futile spend, whose only purpose is to pander to the nationalist party for support?

“That is obvious from the choice of co-chair of the committee, who, as already has been mentioned, stood twice for parliamentary election for Plaid Cymru.”

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist, who is the UK Government Whip in the House of Lords, said that Baron Davies had made “good points”.

“We do not know how much money has been spent on this commission, but it is a large commission and one can only assume that it has been a priority for the Welsh Government—I am not sure that the people of Wales have the same priority,” she said.

‘Different’

Last month, Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams were confirmed as the co-chairs of the commission, which was one of the key promises of Labour’s Senedd manifesto.

Professor McAllister has said that all options would be in the table – including independence. She said they would be thinking “boldly and radically about all potential options for the future of Wales, in the context of the increasing pressure on the Union.”

During the debate in the House of Lords, Lord Wigley asked whether, if the Welsh Government were to propose a referendum on independence, would the UK Government accept the result.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist answered to point out that Laura McAllister had been a member of Plaid Cymru and it was therefore not a surprise to see her suggest independence as an option.

“Of course, I could make the point that Professor Laura McAllister has stood twice as a Plaid Cymru candidate, so I am not surprised that her comments in the Senedd were very different from those of the First Minister, who said that this would not be a consideration of the commission,” she said.

“While we are, of course, interested in its work, it would not be right for us to pre-empt any possible recommendations. I remind the noble Lord that, in a St David’s Day poll this year, 80% of respondents expressed their support for the union.”

It was announced this week that former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood would be part of the commission. It also includes former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams and Lauren McEvatt, a former Conservative UK Government special adviser to the Wales Office.

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Richard
Richard
8 days ago

It is so important that this Commission moves into the main stream and out of the Cardiff Bay bubble – so often – however for the best reasons – habitualy fixed on calling inthe usual suspects to serve..

Dafydd
Dafydd
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard

How big do you think Cardiff Bay is?

Richard
Richard
8 days ago
Reply to  Dafydd

More a mind set than a topographical barrier to
seeing outside the ‘ Pale ‘ 😊

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago
Reply to  Richard

You might use the “Devosceptic” term “Cardiff Bay bubble” which rings alarm bells in my ears and suggests a hidden agenda, I could be mistaken, but like it or not, all nations have a centralised powerbase. It’s called a capital where government & power of state usually lie. But the most important thing is where power lies, that wealth & prosperity itself be equally shared equally across all four corners and not monopolised as done in England by Unionist governments who skimmed the cream leaving Wales with dregs. Don’t confuse devolution with party politics. Government’s come and go, where devolution… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
8 days ago

We in Wales have a right to discuss our future – the UK government or some fancy unelected Tory lord can not stop us doing that. Who is represented on the panel is a decision for people in Wales and people in Wales alone, it has nothing to do with the Westminster. Anyway, what are the Tories afraid of, according to them there is healthy support for the Union?

Last edited 8 days ago by Steve Duggan
Richard
Richard
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I think you might mean ‘ twice rejected ‘ rather than un elected ?

Geraint
Geraint
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard

One of 783 unelected members of the upper house. Appointed by Boris Johnson after he was rejected by the electors in the Gower to represent them in Westminster. Just so much wrong in those few words. How many other democracies put up with having more unelected politicians than elected politicians to make their laws. No wonder more and more people in Wales think that we can do things better ourselves.

j humphrys
j humphrys
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Be more straightforward, wormtongue!

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 days ago

The reactions from Tories suggest that this commission is the right thing to do.

Napoleon said, never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself. It is also true that when those enemies begin howling keep doing whatever makes them howl.

j humphrys
j humphrys
8 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

He said a few things about Albion, too!

Clive Busson
Clive Busson
8 days ago

Says a member of the house of lords – the most undemocratic 2bd chamber in Europe! The Torys hate the fact that Wales is becoming more self confident about its future!

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
8 days ago

England is the first choice of economic migrants.
The glare of their disillusionment is getting daily more obvious as are their prisons being increasingly occupied by non English people.
The so called House of Lords has nothing to do with Wales it is an English anachronism

defaid
defaid
8 days ago

The UK has no written constitution. Constitutional laws, by the UK government’s own admission, have no special legal status.

It follows that “the constitution” cannot be a “reserved matter”. The man is just spouting his party’s usual b0llox.

On a tangent, did MD actually say that independence would not be a consideration?

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
8 days ago

If we need to lose an MP in Wales, can we lose Gower and roll it into Swansea? Better chance of Labour, maybe even Plaid one day than Tor*es having anything to do with Wales

Grayham Jones
8 days ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we in wales have got to stop being little and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Morris Dean
Morris Dean
8 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Ah Mr copy and paste is back

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
8 days ago
Reply to  Morris Dean

We must introduce him to Mrs Spellcheck!

Dafydd
Dafydd
8 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Graham,… its time for a new comment bach….

Erisian
Erisian
8 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Newidiwch y record, mae hyn yn sownd

Grayham Jones
8 days ago

Don’t forget we in wales was getting £650 million pounds from the EU now we are only getting £250 million pounds from the English government all that money was being spent in the valleys of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and the valleys people voted us out we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Erisian
Erisian
8 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

That’s better 🙂 Shame about the coda

Jack Bryn
Jack Bryn
8 days ago

Nothing to see here, just a rejected Tory politician wrapping himself in the Butcher’s Apron. His party espouse British Nationalism and English Exceptionalism, but detest the raising of Celtic voices. They are also repelled by democratic initiatives and accountability. It is 2021 but the mindset of Baron Davies, Rees-Mogg, and others is firmly rooted in 1821.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 days ago

Baron Davies …. what a plonker ! Seems appropriate to call him barren as he’s got nothing worthwhile to say. How much is this empty vessel costing the country for all his time wasting in the Lords ?

Gareth
Gareth
8 days ago

I hope this is not the Byron Davies, who, as chair of the Tory’s in Wales , refused to offer an apology to the girl in the collapsed rape case, when asked to in a interview with the BBC, involving several Tory members and a Tory MP. It would seem wrong that he could be promoted to a lord, while showing such bad judgement

ArgolFawr
ArgolFawr
8 days ago

The tory lord makes a valid point in so far as as the chronic state of nhs services, the M4 and Cardiff airport go. Such a shame it had to come from a tory, and a tory lord at that.

SiarlB
SiarlB
8 days ago
Reply to  ArgolFawr

There is congestion on most UK motorways, the answer isn’t more roads, but alternative transport. If Wales is to spend on transport I would prefer a better North-South connection that improving East-West. I say that as a Cardiffian born and bred. Cardiff airport’s lack of progress can be laid squarely with Westminster, when they refused to allow Cardiff to decrease landing fees to protect Bristol airport. Wales has a older and poorer population, the demand on the NHS in Wales is greater, we can only spend within our budget. Sure the NHS isn’t perfect, it will never be, but I… Read more »

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
8 days ago

Dic Siôn Dafydd

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
8 days ago

Maybe he’s worried about what more powers for Wales means for his second home in Gower and third home in the Bay.
(Source: House of Lords register of members’ interests)

JonathanEdwards
JonathanEdwards
8 days ago

Baroness Bloomfield, though from the Cameron/Cotswolds set, and a peer for no discernible reason, has a holiday home in Cwm-yr-Eglwys. Next time I see her I shall ask her why Wales can’t govern itself. England does after all, since it has so many voters.

j humphrys
j humphrys
8 days ago

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Wandrist.
From where you prattle we have no interest.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
8 days ago

Wouldn’t people like him be better asking themselves why more and more Welsh people are becoming ‘nationalists’?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
8 days ago

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist: “…… one can only assume that it has been a priority for the Welsh Government- I am not sure that the people of Wales have the same priority,”

The answer to that is: yes we do!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago

So Brexit wasn’t pandering to British Nationalism then? This gem from Tory failure Byron Davies who was himself ejected from office by the people of Gower having achieved absolutely nothing in office. He never served his constituents, he served himself. Crook.

This is a man who sits in his ivory tower at Welsh public expense, who forgets that the Welsh Government was voted into power, unlike he who was appointed to his privileged position by the Conservative party, has a mandate from the Welsh people to implement manifesto promises less he forget.

Quornby
Quornby
2 days ago

Does Wales really need a Tory party? They are of no real use which is why so many of them are given a grovel ticket to the unelected House of Lords.

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