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Welsh Secretary says he has to ‘bite his tongue’ on devolved issues

11 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

The Welsh Secretary has said that he has to “bite” his “tongue” on devolved issues.

Simon Hart, the Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, made the admission while being quizzed on Cross Question with Iain Dale on the LBC radio station.

The Tory also politician criticised the Welsh Government’s move to introduce Covid passes in Wales, saying it has an “air of tokenism”.

They are being introduced after a vote in the Senedd which passed with 28 votes for and 27 against. This was made possible by Tory MS Gareth Davies, who was at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, failing to register his vote.

In the interview Hart insisted that the UK Government is “really careful” about “respecting” the “Senedd’s right to express a view on these things”.

However, he then went on to argue against Wales having its own Covid rules “where possible”, saying “public compliance” would be “best served” by “rules for the UK being for the UK”.

On the introduction of Covid passes in Wales, Simon Hart told LBC: “Well we’ve always been, we’ve had to be really careful about respecting Welsh Government’s and the Welsh Parliament’s, the Senedd’s right to express a view on these things.

“I think from our point of view it is a very, it is a controversial area, and I think the problem with it is it’s a self-certification proposal. So in fact, even tough, even if it gets imposed, all it requires is for people to say ‘ye I’ve been jabbed twice’.

“You could just go, queue up for the nightclub and say ‘I’ve been jabbed twice’ and they’ll let you in, and whether that’s good legislation, I have to say I’m not surprised the vote was so tight because I think a lot of people thought this has an air of tokenism about it and might not actually solve the problem it’s designed to resolve.”

‘Bite your tongue’

Iain Dale said: “And as Secretary of State for Wales you are obviously a member of the UK cabinet and yet this is a devolved matter. Do you sometimes have to sort of bite your tongue on these issues a bit?”

Hart replied: “Well of course. I mean part of our, the relationship we have is we try at any rate to be based on respect, try to respect the devolved parliament’s ability to legislate in these areas.

“But you know where possible I do think you know that public understanding and public compliance is best served by, particularly around Covid, the rules for the UK being for the UK.

“Once you get differences in between you know Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire or Herefordshire and Worcester then it gets really complicated and people start getting frustrated and businesses start getting hacked off. It’s you know a UK-wide solution to the Covid problems.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
12 days ago

…I just don’t even understand what the Welsh Conservatives are….apart from the extended boot of the Westsinister government in England that [checks notes] completely failed in its approach to dealing with Covid and has caused the “UK” to be the laughing stock of the world.

Roderich Heier
Roderich Heier
12 days ago

I can understand the remark about differences between Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire as one is in Wales the other in England, but mentioning differences between Herefordshire and Worcestershire makes no sense they are both in England, unless, of course, Simon Hart thinks one is Wales. So much for the Secretary of State for Wales understanding of Welsh geography!!!

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
12 days ago
Reply to  Roderich Heier

The boundary between Cymru and Lloegr was not set by us, and it can be argued that Herefordshire west of Afon Gwy is ours.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
12 days ago

businesses start getting hacked off” – because of course business trumps absolutely everything else including democracy.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
12 days ago

The tin pot hitler hates the fact he can’t control the Welsh government from his unelected position. We really don’t need a Welsh Secretary anymore, they are a total waste of time and money and they are always colonialists who disrespect our country at every turn.

Gareth
Gareth
12 days ago

The introduction of the internal market bill, shows just how much they “respect” the Senedd and the people of our country.

Ann
Ann
12 days ago

Wait a minute – which government was the first to break away from the rules agreed on March 2020? Oh, I remember now – it was Westminster after Cummings and his crazy journeys to firstly pretect his famiy and secondly test his eyes

Mark
Mark
12 days ago

makes you wonder how they cope in america with 50 states, all with different approaches to covid, they must be far more intelligent than your average tory politician

Erisian
Erisian
12 days ago

Perhaps the Tory Poodle of State should just bite harder, bite it off, and spare us further Anti-Welsh Conservative and Uniounist clap-trap.

hdavies15
hdavies15
12 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

I suspect he often bites his tongue as his brain does very little to control any of his actions.

Eifion
Eifion
12 days ago

Nothing worse than when the natives get restless. Why can’t they just behave and do exactly what their masters tell then to do.
Sometimes he must feel like we don’t want his benevolent rule.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago

Do my eyes deceive me.. Did Simon Hart actually say, and I quote below: ‘We’ve always been really careful about respecting Welsh Government’s and the Welsh Parliament’s, the Senedd’s right to express a view on these things.’ Is this man for real? Express our views. Oh we are so grateful that our English overseer doth allow us at least to express our views on the matter. Quisling. Look Simon Hart , firstly get your bloody facts right. Health is devolved to Wales, and as a legislator, if our Senedd Cymru deems Covid passports a necessity, like it or lump it,… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
12 days ago

I would like an investigation on all Tory MPs for corruption especially this one

Chris Franks
Chris Franks
12 days ago

Meanwhile back at HQ the Treasury is calling a fellow Tory Minister a liar.

Grayham Jones
12 days ago

No English people to stand for councils in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 only welsh people we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
11 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Go easy, Grahame, they’re not all anti-Wales. If they propose legislation at council level that is manifestly against the interests of the local electorate, they hopefully won’t get elected, anyway.

David Charles Pearn
David Charles Pearn
9 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Grayham, absolutely 💯 % should never have allowed people not born in Wales to vote on the brexit referendum.

Richard
Richard
12 days ago

It must be very challenging for SH to keep his quiet and rather background way of working in line with the rather strident outpourings of some of his louder colleages.at Westminster and Cardiff Bsy. While all partys are coalitions of various interests all tied up with a ribbon for we the public – it seems to becoming harder to balance his natural politness with the evolving organised assault emerging against Y Senedd. I know at least two of his elected colleages from different parts of his Wales grouping concerned that he might well not fit this emerging hard line profile.… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 days ago

The Welsh Government isn’t “expressing a view” on this matter, it’s bringing in public health legislation, you arrogant benighted fool.

ArgolFawr
ArgolFawr
11 days ago

Reading Mr Hart’s quotes alone displays a clear attitude of him representing England. Not an ‘Union’ and certainly not Wales. His use of ‘us’ and ‘they’ is astonishing.
The tories seem to be concentrating hard on assimilating Wales into England as quickly as they can. Since at no time have they really projected their feeble covid management arguments towards the uk as a whole.

MJ_G
MJ_G
10 days ago

Well, soundbites from Mr Hart too. There are borders everywhere in the world. People living in border areas do just fine. Why would people living either side of our border be any different? Borders are a fact of life for many people. He would probably spontaneously combust if he thought about that really criss-crossy/enclave/exclave border in Belgium/the Netherlands!

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