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Conservatives criticise Plaid ‘pride’



Andrew RT Davies: Plaid took same position as Tories for wrong reasons

Andrew RT Davies: Plaid took same position as Tories for wrong reasons

THE LEADER of the Welsh Conservatives managed the notable feat of criticising a party which sided with his own to vote down a major piece of legislation last week.

As The Herald reported, the Public Health (Wales) bill failed to pass after voting was tied at 26 apiece, and the Presiding Officer, following tradition, cast her deciding vote against.

It was widely thought that Plaid Cymru would offer AMs a free vote, especially given that Elin Jones and Llyr Gruffydd had been instrumental in altering the original draft bill into a form which would be acceptable, with compromises on the controversial ‘e-cig ban’ being the most notable changes.

However, following a spectacularly mistimed jibe by Leighton Andrews, Plaid voted against the bill.

In doing this they joined the Welsh Conservatives and the Lib Dems, both of which had made Mark Drakeford’s approach to ‘vaping’ their main point of opposition.

However, Andrew RT Davies’ response was notably lacking in gratitude. Referring consistently to an ‘e-cigarette ban’ when the modified bill restricted vaping in playgrounds, nurseries, restaurants and public transport, he accused Plaid, who he described as ‘Labour’s little helpers’ of acting through wounded pride.

Mr Davies said: “We learnt two valuable lessons in the chamber yesterday evening as opposition parties came together to vote down Labour’s ill-judged e-cigarette ban.

“First, that Labour’s arrogance and sense of entitlement knows no bounds; co-operation to them amounts to getting their own way, and they’re more than happy to treat Plaid and Liberal AM’s as pawns on a chess table.

“But we also learnt something even more significant – Plaid’s biting point.

“Let’s be clear, Plaid’s decision to join us in opposing this legislation had nothing to do with the bill itself. They were motivated by pride, not principle.

“On numerous occasions throughout this Assembly term they have dutifully lined up to help Labour pass budgets and bills, starving the Welsh NHS of a billion pounds in the process.

“Plaid’s change of heart yesterday came about because they were embarrassed by Leighton Andrews’ arrogant jibe, not because they recognised the harm that a ban on e-cigarettes could have on those trying to quit smoking.

“And that’s why there has been something of a backlash from the organisations involved in drafting this legislation.

“We stood firmly opposed to the measures on e-cigs throughout the bill’s passage, and indeed we offered the Health Minister numerous opportunities to withdraw the section on e-cigarettes and proceed with a number of other important measures contained in the bill.

“Unfortunately, Labour’s arrogance was their un-doing, and you cannot allow poor legislation to pass – however well-meaning the rest of the measures in a Bill are.

“As for where this leaves us as we enter into the election period, it’s hard to say.

“Leighton Andrews embodies the contempt with which Labour hold Welsh democracy, and it’s high time that arrogant sense of an entitlement was cut down to size.

“Plaid were stung into action by a wounded sense of pride, but it remains to be seen whether Leighton’s jibe will have any meaningful long-term impact on their long-standing role as Labour’s little helpers.”

It remains to be seen whether these remarks will have any impact on the likelihood of a post-election alliance between Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, which was hinted at by the new Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns this week.

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Councillors elected to Haverfordwest Town Council



The declaration of results for by-elections to two Haverfordwest Town Council Wards
are available on the Pembrokeshire County Council website.

The elections to the Priory and Portfield Wards took place on September 19 th , 2023.

Cllr Peter Lewis and Cllr Tasha Jones were elected to the Priory Ward and Cllr Roy
Thomas to the Portfield Ward.

Returning Officer Will Bramble made the declaration of results at the Picton Centre,
Haverfordwest, following the closure of polls and counting.

The full declarations are available on the election results page of the Council’s

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Ben Lake launches election campaign at Crymych



BEN LAKE launched his election campaign at Crymych Rugby Club last Thursday and met with a packed room of supporters to outline his priorities as Plaid Cymru’s candidate for the new Ceredigion Preseli seat.

Ben Lake has represented Ceredigion in Westminster since 2017, increasing his majority in the 2019 election to 6,329 votes.

The new Ceredigion Preseli seat extends from Cardigan to Llanrhian along the Pembrokeshire coast, and includes the inland wards of Crymych, Clydau, Maenclochog and Cilgerran.

After the launch, Ben Lake said:

“I am grateful to all who joined me at Crymych Rugby Club last night and am truly humbled by everyone’s support.

“My priorities were I to be elected as the Member of Parliament for Ceredigion Preseli are clear – a fair deal for rural communities, investment in infrastructure and increased funding for public services, and a thriving, sustainable economy that has the needs of communities rather than those of large corporations as its focus.

“I look forward to getting to know more people and communities across north Pembrokeshire over the next few months whilst also continuing to serve the communities of Ceredigion to the best of my ability. I will do my utmost to convince the people of this wonderful new constituency of Ceredigion Preseli that I am worthy of their support.”

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Petition calling for scrapping of new 20mph speed limit at 150,000 signatures



A SENEDD petition calling for the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the 20mph law, has now passed 150,000 signatures, a Senedd petition record The Herald understands.

The previous record called for non-essential items to be sold in supermarkets during the firebreak lockdown.

As of Sunday (September 17), 30mph roads have been reduced to 20mph where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists. It is thought around 13,000km of road will be affected.

The move has proved controversial with a poll for ITV Wales revealed this week that just 31% of people support the policy, while 66% are opposed to it.

The Welsh Government says research shows that changes will reduce pollution and fatal crashes.

In response to the news of record breaking numbers of people supporting the petition in Wales, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS said: “For more than 150,000 people to sign a petition within such a short space of time highlights the extent of public outrage towards Labour’s disastrous policy. Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda. Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales.

“With little to no consultation from the public, the people of Wales are using this petition to send a clear message to Labour in Cardiff Bay – they have had enough of this socialist agenda and are tired of being dictated to.”

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