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Welsh Labour is ‘no longer a Unionist party’ under Mark Drakeford, say Conservatives

26 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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.”

‘Showman’

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.

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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
27 days ago

A charge likely to come as a surprise to the Wales labour leader – Drakeford has never missed an opportunity to stress his support for the union and to attack independence for Wales ☹️.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
26 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Indeed. It is designed to try to make Drakeford’s feeble defence of the current devolution settlement against Tory attacks seem “extreme”.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
25 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

When you are an extremist you cannot see that Mark Drakeford is the best politician that advances the cause of unionism towards the UK.

Sion Cwilt
Sion Cwilt
27 days ago

This accusation is even more swivel-eyed than is usual for the Welsh Cons leader. He seeds to calm down , take a deep breath and think about who’s actions exactly have been putting pressure on the increasingly fragile union. At the very least calming down will be good for his blood pressure! Mark Drakeford has always stressed how much he is in favour of the union, even to the point where he begins to look a little ridiculous, especially as it looks increasingly likely that the only way of implementing the progressive policies needed in Wales, or delivering any semblance… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
25 days ago
Reply to  Sion Cwilt

When you are an extremist you cannot see that Mark Drakeford is the best politician that advances the cause of unionism towards the UK.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
27 days ago

The ‘Welsh’ Conservatives are the complete opposite – they follow only their master in London. And as for “Can be trusted to look after the people’s priorities” – which party has caused the empty food shelves and lack of lorry drivers, care workers and fruit pickers? Mr Davies, get a grip, your party is ruining the UK.

R W
R W
26 days ago

So Welsh Labour is ‘no longer a Unionist party’ ? IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE!!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

If Conservative clown Andrew RT Davies seriously thinks that Unionism means that FM Mark Drakeford & Welsh Labour should turn a blind eye to their London masters undemocratic power-grab and interference in Welsh devolution soley because they prefer a United Kingdom over an independent Wales, would be a dereliction of duty as First Minster of Wales and Welsh Government.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
26 days ago

Just because the Tories say it does not make it true.

Erisian
Erisian
26 days ago

Statistically, quite the opposite.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
26 days ago

Andrew RT Davies seems to be the one obsessed with playing the unionist vs nationalist, division card.

Remember when his party also opposed Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, decolonization of the British Empire, Irish home rule, devolution to Wales and Scotland, gay rights, comprehensive education, the NHS etc.?

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

They also opposed Brexit in 1983 when Margaret Thatcher won with a landslide majority. Leaving the EEC was the official Labour policy at the time.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
25 days ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

Full consistency goes to the SDP-Liberal Alliance ( The Liberal democrats at the time).
They were right all along about the effects of Brexit and empty shelves in shops and shortages of deliveries.

George Bodley
George Bodley
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

This is why this odious little man and his conservative clowns should be kept out of power in wales lets.make him and his party no marks like they are in scotland

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
26 days ago

Are Andrew RT and the Welsh Conservatives suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or plain “battered wife syndrome”? Whatever it is they need help to get up off their knees.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
26 days ago

I tried reading it seriously but he lost me at “naval gazing”. The old Greeks called it Omphaloskepsis. From omphalos, the Greek word for your belly button/Navel.
Nothing to do with sailors or ships but I suppose ART still believes Britannia rules the waves, so it might just be a Freudian slip.

Erisian
Erisian
26 days ago

When Mark Drakeford says something, it is normally reported by Nation.Cymru as “Mark Drakeford said…”
While Andrew RT Davies on his own embodies the amount of dogmatic stupidity and spite normally only found in a room full of Conservatives, there is only one of him. (Thank God)
Yes, for now, he is the leader of the ‘Welsh’ conservative and unionist party, but please refrain from anouncing that the “Welsh Conservatives say” when in fact it was just him.

Gavinmun
Gavinmun
26 days ago

“Pointing to Mark Drakeford in Wales, Starmer argued that alternative leadership styles can work, citing his election win in the Senedd in May.“ The people of Wales do not want the selfish individualist ideology of English Conservatism. That is why Mark Drakeford won the election. That is also why English Labour are crumbling in England. Our politics are poles apart. Unfortunately, if we remain in this unequal union, we will get English Conservatism forced upon us by Westminster. If Drakeford really is loyal to his socialist values – and as Labour in England lurches ever more to the right to… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
26 days ago

Just waiting for ARTD to have an outburst of name calling. We’ve had the childish period within various nationalist groups where anyone not toeing the orthodox line was slagged off as “fascist”, “nazi” and other choice words. Now we may be about to get a flurry of similar from Unionist/loyalists groups each trying to outdo the other in “loyalty”. Could be good for a laugh.

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