SENIOR Welsh Tories have come under fire for branding a coronavirus travel restriction as ‘anti-English’.
Welsh Conservatives Leader Paul Davies, Former Secretary of State Alun Cairns and Former Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies have all made the same claim over the past 24 hours.
This in response to First Minister Mark Drakeford’s decision to impose a travel ban from ‘high prevalence’ coronavirus areas elsewhere into Wales.
They’re shameful and irresponsible comments from senior politicians who really should know better than to stir the pot at this time.
“It’s a juvenile, twitter-type response from these politicians, and it’s utterly shameful behaviour really” said a spokesperson for GWLAD.
“People’s nerves are on edge as it is with this virus situation. The very last thing we need right now is inflammatory language from the Tories in Wales”.
The Spokesperson pointed out that the travel restrictions also included Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it was factually wrong to label it as an ‘anti-English’ move.
Especially as internal travel restrictions were also in place within Wales itself.
He added that if the above politicians had doubts about the restrictions, they could have expressed those in much more diplomatic terms.
“Perhaps they do represent a growing strand of opinion which is sceptical of the real health risks posed by the virus, and worried about the economy and personal liberties.” he said.
“But they should have expressed these concerns in those terms alone – and not fallen back on such dangerous and loaded language to make their case.”
The virus is fast becoming being weaponised on all sides.
At Westminster, it’s clear that Boris Johnson is aiming to weaponise Mark Drakeford’s position against the Labour Party in general.
Indeed, one could argue that Johnson wanted to push Drakeford to take the unilateral decision he eventually took, for political gain for the Tories in England.
“Look what a Labour government in power is like” is the message they want to promote with this.
But the irony is that this weaponisation of the virus is also working against Westminster.
Forcing Drakeford, against all his instincts, to close the border and put Wales’s interests first, is a huge psychological boost for the national cause.
What might appear as clever strategizing in Westminster terms is playing very differently here in Wales.