Mark Drakeford is a ‘low energy Jeremy Corbyn’, Tory leadership contender says

Liz Truss lambasted the Welsh First Minister during a hustings event in Cardiff.

03 August 2022

Conservative Party leadership candidate Liz Truss has described Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford as a “low energy version of Jeremy Corbyn” days after criticising Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Truss lambasted Mr Drakeford during a hustings event in Cardiff on Wednesday evening.

It comes after she said Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon was an “attention seeker” who is “best ignored” at a hustings event in Exeter on Monday.

During the event in Wales, Ms Truss said: “The fact is there are too many people in this country who are ashamed of our history, who talk our country down, who say the best days are behind us. They are completely wrong. I’m afraid one of them is Mark Drakeford.”

Conservative leadership bid
Liz Truss made the comments during a speech to the crowd (Jacob King/PA)

Referring to his decision in 2019 to scrap the M4 relief road, a dual three-lane motorway south of Newport which was proposed to relieve congestion, she added: “Whether it’s stopping the M4 relief road, whether it’s whacking a tax on our tourist industry, I will crack down on his negativity about Wales and about the United Kingdom.

“With delivering for people on the ground, with making a real difference to people’s lives, we will be able to take on the plastic patriot Sir Keir Starmer and we’ll be able to take on the low energy version of Jeremy Corbyn that is Mark Drakeford.”

Asked during the hustings if she would ignore Mr Drakeford like Ms Sturgeon, Ms Truss said: “I think it’s a very different situation in Scotland and Wales.

“Because what’s happening in Scotland is the entire resources of the Scottish Government are being used to run essentially an independence campaign, and I think that is grossly irresponsible.

“The Scottish Government are not delivering for the people of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is spending her time agitating for independence.”

British Irish Council summit
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford confirmed the M4 relief road project was cancelled in 2019 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ms Truss also backed building the M4 relief road.

Mr Drakeford previously said his Cabinet had decided not to back the project due to demands on the Welsh Government’s budgets and its financial position, saying the cost involved “was not acceptable”.

During Monday’s hustings, Ms Truss made her remarks about the Scottish First Minister in relation to her push for another Scottish independence referendum in October 2023.

Her comments prompted further personal attacks on Ms Sturgeon, with Ms Truss’s ally Jacob Rees-Mogg stating the Scottish National Party leader is “always moaning”.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the attack on Ms Sturgeon from someone hoping to be the next occupant of No 10 is “completely and utterly unacceptable”.

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