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Welsh Labour run by official who called Nick Clegg ‘a f****** c***’

15 May 2024 5 minute read
Former Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg. Photo Toby Melville/PA Wire

Martin Shipton

A decision to postpone the appointment of a new general secretary for Welsh Labour means the party will be run until after the general election by an official who once described former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg on Facebook as a f****** c***.

Recently, following the departure of former general secretary Jo McIntyre, UK Labour advertised for a new official who will be responsible for masterminding Welsh Labour’s Senedd election campaign in 2026.

According to an advert posted on LinkedIn and elsewhere, the general secretary will be responsible for “the effective and efficient organisation of Welsh Labour”. The salary is £74,537.65, with a fixed sum allowance of £2,608. The role also attracts a car allowance of £5000.

The advert further states: “The general secretary will build the organisational capacity necessary to maximise Labour representation at all levels of government and will work on the development of the electoral strategy for the Welsh Senedd elections. The role will work under the political leadership of the Welsh Labour leader and working with all other stakeholders to ensure the effective promotion of, and campaigning for the Welsh Labour government and Labour’s Shadow Cabinet in Wales.”

The successful candidate will have “extensive knowledge of the Labour Party in Wales, including the work of the Welsh Labour government and of the official opposition at Westminster; awareness of policy and policy making within Welsh Labour and across the wider party; experience of management including experience of strategic/corporate management; and experience of working with a wide range of people, including politicians, local parties, affiliated organisations and external agencies”.

The deadline to apply for the job was May 7.

General election

However a Welsh Labour insider has told NationCymru that UK Labour – which will make the appointment – has decided to postpone a decision until after the general election expected later this year.

It had been widely expected that Stewart Owadally, who was the director of Vaughan Gething’s Welsh Labour leadership campaign would be appointed as the party’s new general secretary. But the party insider told us: “UK Labour is holding back on making the appointment because of the concern over Vaughan Gething’s £200k donation from a convicted polluter. There will be no announcement before the general election. Stewart is very unhappy about this, because there’s been an assumption that the job would be his.”

Mr Owadally has previously worked as a Labour Party organiser in Wales and in the run up to the referendum in 2016 was Wales campaign director for the pro-EU group Britain Stronger in Europe.

The change of plan means that Welsh Labour will be headed administratively up to and including the general election by its deputy general secretary Joe Lock.

Ynys Môn

In 2011 Mr Lock was a 25-year-old mature student at Bangor University and Labour’s Senedd candidate in Ynys Môn, which at the time was held by Plaid Cymru’s Ieuan Wyn Jones, then the party’s leader. Days before the election, a series of offensive Facebook posts made by Mr Lock came to light.

One post saw him calling Nick Clegg a “f****** c***” in the wake of the deal his party made to form a coalition with the Conservatives in 2010.

In another post he created a link to a website called “Is Thatcher dead yet?”, adding the comment: “Can’t be long, fingers crossed.”

Responding to a post from a friend who stated: “Take it you don’t like the Tories then”, Mr Lock wrote: “I love em as long as they impaled [sic] on a large spike.”

Another post from Mr Lock said: “Joe likes throwing eggs at [then Prime Minister] David Cameron, brick-shaped eggs – made from brick.”

Other postings were homophobic.

Grossly inappropriate

The comments were spotted at the time by a Welsh Conservative activist. A spokesman for the party said: “These comments are grossly inappropriate for an Assembly candidate. They are offensive, abusive and completely unacceptable for anyone seeking public office.

“There is no place in politics for extreme remarks that appear to incite violent behaviour. The Welsh electorate will expect Carwyn Jones [then the First Minister and Welsh Labour leader] to distance himself from these comments as soon as possible and take all appropriate action.”

A spokesman for Welsh Labour said at the time: “We have noted these comments from Joe Lock, which were made before he was a Labour candidate in this election. These comments are totally unacceptable and we have issued Mr Lock with a formal reprimand and a warning about his future conduct which he has accepted.

“These comments may have been made in jest when Mr Lock was a student, but youth and naivety are no defence for what are clearly inappropriate remarks.”

Mr Lock said: “I accept completely that I should not have made these comments and I apologise unreservedly to anyone I may have offended.

“I have offered a personal apology to Welsh Labour, the local party and to Carwyn Jones for any embarrassment I may have caused. These were stupid comments and intended for friends, but that is absolutely no excuse.”

In the 2011 Assembly election, Mr Lock came third in Ynys Mon behind Plaid Cymru’s Ieuan Wyn Jones, who retained the seat, and the second-placed Tory candidate.


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Stevie B
Stevie B
9 days ago

Welsh Labour? Surely they’ve gone so far right wing, Welsh Labour are now an oxymoron like the Welsh Conservatives.

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 days ago

Well, Lock may be wrong about most things but spot on when he described Clegg in those choice words.

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
9 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Its possible the real reason for the anger is that some people think that that would just make him too honest to be anywhere near politics.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 days ago

Any chance of an apology from Nick Clegg for his part in the UK’s downfall…

Sticks and Stones etc but Lying Cheating Cowardly and Sadistic Politicians can really hurt you…

Gaynor
Gaynor
9 days ago

So this guy assumed he would get the role as he led VG ‘s campaign. And It’s English Labour who will annoint the winner.

By now I suppose there is no such thing as UK Labour its South East England Labour basically.

Doesn’t the above story tell us all we need to know about how ‘Welsh’ Labour is run? Like a puppet.

Benjamin
Benjamin
9 days ago

Mr. Clegg is a good man. He stopped us from having ID cards & even wider use of surveillance tech., Gordon Brown wanted.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
9 days ago
Reply to  Benjamin

…And, ensured there would be no Brexit disaster while in office.
Unfortunately, the English elected a majority Tory government and look at the mess.

The Liberal Democrats are the only hope that England has of democratic politics.

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