We are aware that there has been an article published in the Times newspaper today [note: behind a paywall] in which Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, alleges that:
At the same time Mr Berry’s wife was in hospital, some Welsh “Ultra-nationalists” as he calls them, latched on to the fact that they were newcomers and the family were subject to a hate campaign and accused of bringing Covid-19 to north Wales. “The police said they were threatening to burn the house down. It was pretty awful. I was going to bed with a pickaxe handle and the children with me.”
We’re also aware that at least one anonymous account on Twitter has associated these alleged threats with the Jac o’ the North blog which is written by one of our members. The Jac o’ the North blog has published a series of detailed investigations into Jake Berry’s property dealings, especially those in Ynys Môn. We ourselves as a party, while not paying much attention to Jake Berry as an individual, have been outspoken about the issue of holiday homes in rural Wales, and particularly in Ynys Môn.
For the avoidance of doubt, we want to make it completely clear that we totally reject and condemn any threatening or violent behaviour towards Jake Berry MP, his family, or any other owners of holiday property in Wales. Anyone indulging in such activity is no friend of ours and no friend of Wales.
Furthermore, we see nothing in the articles on the Jac o’ the North blog, which are carefully researched and scrupulously referenced, that could legitimately be blamed for provoking such behaviour, any more than any other item of investigative journalism.
We also have our doubts about the veracity of Jake Berry’s claims. If someone had been warned by the police that there had been threats to burn his house down, and he was taking them seriously, then it’s hard to see how going to bed with a pickaxe handle would be a rational response to such a threat. And for that matter, would anyone wanting to threaten him make the threat to the police, rather than to him directly? It just doesn’t ring true.
But that’s by-the-by. Whether Jake Berry’s allegations are true or not, our complete condemnation of the alleged behaviour stands.