Posted: Tue 18th Jan 2022

“If it was the First Minister with elderflower cordial they would be purple with rage” – Economy minister accuses Welsh Conservatives of hypocrisy

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 18th, 2022

The economy minister has today hit out at Welsh Conservatives by claiming that if the first minister had attended a ‘work event’ in the manner PM Johnson had, they would have ‘gone purple with rage’.

The comments came as Vaughan Gething MS (pictured left) was reminded of a story during the pandemic when he was photographed outside sharing a tray of chips, at a time where sitting for a “prolonged period” on a park bench was not allowed under Welsh Government regulations.

At the time Welsh Government said it was a legal action, as buying takeaway food from a cafe/takeaway was permitted under the regulations at the time, noting “If you are out taking exercise with member of your family and you decide to sit down and eat takeaway food then that is also fine.”

At a press briefing today Mr Gething was asked if he had “any sympathy” for Prime Minister Johnson, he said: “I don’t have much sympathy for Boris Johnson at all, actually.

Grinning he added: “I know what you’re referring to and of course, having gone out for a daily exercise with my family and then having someone sell a story with a picture of me, in a way that simply wasn’t honest. That was hard.

“But I should say that I was comforted by the fact that I got lots of messages of support as well, including from families who were there at the time, and including people who are direct political opponents as well.

“That is just an entirely different situation for where the Prime Minister finds himself, the culture within Downing Street where he is directly responsible.

“The revelations the fact that he’s admitted he really did attend a work event that he couldn’t tell was actually a drinks party.

“If you think about that, if that had been here in Wales, if the First Minister here had gone out onto the grass outside Cathays Park with his elderflower cordial to meet 30 Welsh Government workers who are having drinks Andrew RT Davies and the Welsh Tories would have gone purple with rage, and it would not have stopped being talked about.

“No one would have bought this ridiculous excuse that it was actually a work event, not a drinks party, no one would be fobbed off with the idea that you didn’t need to account for what you were really doing until a civil servant who’s ultimately responsible to you has done a report.

“It’s not just one incident though, is it? The Prime Minister appears to have genuine contempt for the rules as far as they apply to him.

“Whilst issuing strictures as his other ministers have done that everyone must obey the rules. Well, we all did our part. And the reason we’re in this position today in Wales with case rates significant other than England is people have played their part.

“And I just wish there was a sense of decency. and accountability in Downing Street.”

Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew Davies said last week , “People are hurt, angry and let down at the events of the past 48 hours, and the Prime Minister has rightly apologised.”

“The inquiry by the senior civil servant, Sue Gray, must now be expedited to establish the full facts and report the findings as soon as possible.

“It’s vital the PM continues his work on the booster roll out, which has been world-leading, so we can get Britain on the road to recovery and free from restrictions.”

“Here in Wales, we’ve seen first-hand what the alternative would be under a Labour administration, with crippling restrictions on the economy and society, and untold damage to our businesses, health and well-being.”

“Conservatives must continue to lead the world in the recovery and deliver the restoration of freedoms as we learn to live with COVID.”

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