Welsh Labour is ‘no longer a Unionist party’ under Mark Drakeford, say Conservatives
Welsh Labour has been accused of abandoning its Unionist credentials by the Welsh Conservatives, and “throwing their lot with nationalists as a matter of course”.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies accused Mark Drakeford of having “seriously attempted to undermine British nationhood and ramped up an antagonistic and baseless war of rhetoric for electoral gain” since becoming First Minister three years ago.
They levelled the charge following news that the Labour Government in Wales has entered talks with Plaid Cymru for a “cooperation agreement” likely to be focussed on issues that include expanding the size of the Welsh Parliament.
Andrew RT Davies said that Mark Drakeford had:
- Likened the United Kingdom to be being nothing more than “an insurance policy”;
- Said that his support for the existence of the country is “not unconditional”;
- Regularly “undermined the fabric of the UK” through his many assertions in the Welsh Government’s Reforming Our Union document such as sovereignty no longer resting in the British Parliament; and
- Consistently played up the break-up of the country.
“Labour’s credibility as a pro-Britain party is dead in the water. In no small part, Mark Drakeford has helped this by seriously attempting to undermine British nationhood and ramped up an antagonistic and baseless war of rhetoric for electoral gain, putting party politics above the national interest,” Andrew RT Davies said.
“We see that in his plan for an economically disastrous pact with Plaid Cymru, his aggressive attitude towards the British Government, and throwing his Scottish colleagues under the bus by jumping into bed with those whose party’s chief goal is to break up the country.
“Labour previously had a proud history of being pro-Welsh and pro-British. It is now abandoning the latter to curry favour with nationalists because staying in power has become more important to them than creating a strong Wales in a strong United Kingdom.
“While other parties obsess with naval-gazing over the constitution, only the Conservative Party – in whichever part of the UK – can be trusted to look after the people’s priorities.”
Andrew RT Davies’ comments came as Keir Starmer compared himself with Mark Drakeford on the Andrew Marr show this morning.
Andrew Marr asked Sir Keir whether Labour needs a leader “who is a showman, and who is more emotional”. In response, Starmer insisted that he has no desire to be a “showman” and mirror Boris Johnson’s style.
Pointing to Mark Drakeford in Wales, Starmer argued that alternative leadership styles can work, citing his election win in the Senedd in May.
Welsh Labour has called off its own party conference in November due to concerns over an expected peak of coronavirus cases and the pressure on the health service this autumn.
Mark Drakeford will however give a speech as part of the Labour conference in Brighton.