Welsh Tory MP fumes about lack of Union Jacks in the Senedd
A fuming Welsh Tory MP has complained a lack of Union Jacks during debates in the Senedd.
Jamie Wallis, who represents Bridgend at Westminster, asked the UK Government’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden for his response to the Llywydd telling Senedd members to stop displaying flags of any kind when joining debates on video call.
Elin Jones imposed the order after Tory MSs Janet Finch-Saunders and Laura Anne Jones displayed the British banner.
She said that she’d noticed a “proliferation of flag flying” and even jokingly threatened to fly the flag of the “Independent Tropical Republic of Ceredigion” if it continued.
This move displeased Wallis who, during a debate in the House of Commons, insisted that people “across Wales are proud” to fly the Union Jack.
He also hit out at a reference by First Minister Mark Drakeford for a reference to the “vacuous symbolism” of “tea-towel waving Tories”.
Dowden responded by claiming that the Union Jack “unites us as a nation” because it “embodies the emblems of four or three countries united under one sovereign”.
England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are represented on the Union Jack. However, Wales is not because it was considered to be part of England when the flag was created.
Wallis said: “I want to draw my right honourable friend’s attention to the issue of displaying the Union flag in the Welsh Parliament.
“As many will know, the presiding officer of the Senedd banned the displaying of the Union flag by Conservative members last week, and yesterday the First Minister Mark Drakeford described them as ‘vacuous symbolism by tea-towel [waving] Tories of 2021’.
“Does my right honourable friend agree with me that people across Wales are proud to display the Union Jack because their pride in their country they live in and of what the UK stands for.”
The Culture Secretary said: “Well of course I share my honourable friend’s pride in the Union flag.
“Of course it unites us as a nation, and a people, and as he well knows the Union flag is the national flag of the United Kingdom and it is so called because it embodies the emblems of four or three countries united under one sovereign.
“The kingdoms of England, Wales, of Scotland and of course of Northern Ireland. I do think it’s quite extraordinary that the First Minister should describe it as vacuous symbolism by tea towel Tories, it really does show how out of touch he is with the people of Wales and the Labour Party is with the wider United Kingdom.”