The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has not read the UK party's manifesto
With David Cameron warning of the dangers the SNP could pose to a Labour government, the last thing he needs is for the leader of the Welsh Conservatives to admit that he has not read the UK party’s manifesto for the General Election.
Yet that was the surprising declaration made yesterday by the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies, who suggested that the UK Conservative party manifesto was not relevant to Wales.
Davies made his startling admission when questioned by the media for clarification on Conservative plans for funding in Wales.
Within the party’s UK manifesto, a commitment is made to “introduce a ‘funding floor’ to protect Welsh relative funding and provide certainty for the Welsh government to plan for the future, once it has called a referendum on Income Tax powers in the next Parliament”. However a party spokesperson has noted that there was merely an ‘expectation’ of a referendum in Income Tax powers as outlined in the St David’s Day Agreement on devolution in Wales.
Questioned on the confusion yesterday, Davies told journalists that there was ‘nothing to clarify’:
“I haven’t read the London one because I’m not interested in the London one. It’s the Wales one I’m interested in. That’s the one I endorse, that’s the one that’s relevant to the people of Wales.”
The admission is an echo of a similar embarrassment in 2010, when the then UKIP Leader Lord Pearson admitted that he could not recall the details of the party’s manifesto.
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot ForwardLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.