Welsh Secretary accused of using Welsh language as excuse for Suella Braverman ‘trivial’ comments
The new Secretary of State for Wales has been accused of using the Welsh language as an excuse for branding Suella Braverman’s security breach “trivial”.
Appearing on BBC Politics Wales, David TC Davies said that his previous comments on the issue were a “translation problem”.
However, appearing on S4C Newyddion during the week, he had used the English language word “trivial” rather than any Welsh language equivalent.
He was asked on BBC Politics Wales: “On Wednesday night you told our colleagues on Newyddion S4C that it was a ‘trivial’ matter – more allegations and more information have come to light since then? Is it a trivial matter?”
David TC Davies responded: “Well I don’t think it’s trivial – I don’t know exactly what I said but I suppose I can always use the excuse of translation problems.”
But he had told S4C: “I’m completely comfortable that she will do a good job. I’ve seen the details that she had texted something to someone – the whole thing is very trivial in my opinion.”
The host responded: “But she put secret information in danger?”
David TC Davies reiterated: “In my opinion it was very trivial.”
“Dim ond un David Davies sydd.”
Pa fath o berthynas fydd gan Ysgrifennydd Cymru a Mark Drakeford? Cyfweliad cyntaf David TC Davies gyda Newyddion S4C ers iddo gael ei apwyntio i gabinet Rishi Sunak pic.twitter.com/lOlZSDw3cD
— Newyddion S4C (@NewyddionS4C) October 26, 2022
Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Cefin Campbell said that David TC Davies had tried to “backtrack” on the comments by blaming his Welsh language skills.
“Watch David TC Davies backtracking on his comments that Suella Braverman sending top secret documents using her private email is ‘trivial’,” he said.
“He tried to blame Welsh translation! Look at these clips – it’s clear what he meant. Nothing to do with his Welsh language skills.”
Today Home Secretary Suella Braverman gave further details of the breach of the ministerial code which triggered her resignation as home secretary under Liz Truss.
In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson, Ms Braverman apologised for the breach.
She said she had apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed as Home Secretary when he entered No 10 and publicly repeated that apology.
“In my appointment discussion with the new Prime Minister, I raised this mistake and apologised to him, and would like to do so again here,” she said.
“I also gave the Prime Minister assurances that I would not use my personal email for official business and reaffirmed my understanding of and adherence to the Ministerial Code.”
Suella Braverman also insisted there was nothing market-sensitive in the draft written ministerial statement (WMS) she sent from her private email address to Tory backbencher Sir John Hayes.
She said former prime minister Liz Truss had “specifically” asked her to engage with parliamentary colleagues to discuss the content of the planned WMS.
The draft WMS consisted of “high-level proposals for liberalising our migration rules”, including “increasing the number of low-skilled foreign workers, as well as general plans for controlling illegal migration”.
Much of the document had already been briefed to MPs – including Sir John – “at the request” of Ms Truss, although Ms Braverman acknowledged that “some sentences” had not been fully agreed by all departments.
Ms Braverman said: “I want the Home Affairs Select Committee to be reassured on the very important point about the nature of the document that I shared by mistake.
“The draft WMS did not contain any information relating to national security, the intelligence agencies, cyber security or law enforcement.
“It did not contain details of any particular case work. It did not contain any market-sensitive data as all the data contained in the document was already in the public domain.
“It was not classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET.”
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