Welsh Labour politician: Poor people don’t go to football games

Welsh Labour politician: Poor people don't go to football games
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Wales doesn't get much love from the national press these days. Among the three devolved assemblies, Cardiff Bay is very much the odd man out, not sharing the historic tensions of Stormont or the modern ones of Holyrood. The Labour government there has been in power since the Senedd's creation; Plaid Cymru's big push for independence fell flat in May, with the nationalists gaining just one seat despite excited expectations.

But while Mark Drakeford was praised for his handling of the Covid pandemic – being comfortably re-elected off the back of it – in recent months his administration's authoritarian measures have begun to grate somewhat. The controversial introduction of vaccine passports last month by a single vote sparked fury in the hard-pressed Welsh hospitality industry, with a legal challenge now set to be mounted.

And Labour MS (Member of the Senedd) Jenny Rathbone did her party's cause no good yesterday. Responding to a point made by Tory Daren Millar – who criticised the self-certification loophole by pointing out anyone could swab their dog and enter their results instead – Rathbone gave a bizarre response in which she suggested dogs could have Covid because 'this disease came from bats, so this is not a completely ridiculous idea.'

She then made matters worse when responding to another point of order by Janet Finch-Saunders, who asked about the effect of such passes on those on low incomes trying to attend large events. Finch-Saunders cited the Welsh government's own impact assessment and warned that as 'our smaller establishments really are not prepared or geared up for this, we could be looking here at sustaining and creating greater well-being inequality.'

Rathbone's response was to claim that poor people don't go to such events, telling her fellow parliamentarian: 'Listen, people on the lowest incomes are not able to go to the matches, either the rugby, the football, or the cinema; let's get real on this one.' So much for being the party of the workers eh?

You can watch the own goal in this full exchange below:

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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