Theo Davies-Lewis

Theo Davies-Lewis is an associate director at FGS Global and a political commentator on Welsh affairs

The brutal downfall of Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price

The mantra was simple: ‘Yes Wales Can’, as Adam Price declared after ousting Leanne Wood in a brutal leadership contest in 2018. Wood had been unable to halt the ruthless coup launched by Y Mab Darogan, the son of prophecy, as Price was known to his followers. Plaid Cymru has been in Labour’s shadow in Wales

How Welsh nationalism shaped the King

Royal Mail needs a history lesson. In preparation for this weekend it has dedicated four special post-boxes emblazoned with a coronation emblem and Union Jack, sent to every corner of the UK. But what did it expect by placing the box in Cardiff city centre directly outside the pub named after Owain Glyndŵr, rebel and

Welsh rugby is on the brink of collapse

Rugby is a gladiatorial game – as Wales’s Six Nations match today against Ireland will surely prove. But even the greatest commentators in the sport, such as the late Eddie Butler and Cliff Morgan, would wince reading the script of Welsh rugby’s spiralling decline.  Wales has been more reliant on rugby to form the guardrails of

How William can win over the Welsh

‘The demands on a Prince of Wales have altered,’ 20-year-old Charles said at his Caernarfon investiture in 1969, with some trepidation. ‘But I am determined to serve and to try as best I can to live up to those demands, whatever they might be in the rather uncertain future.’ Half a century later that future

A new era of Welsh football has begun

As Britain toasted seven decades of the Queen’s reign outside Buckingham Palace, the Welsh basked in their 1600-year survival. Dafydd Iwan, the republican nationalist folk singer, bellowed Yma O Hyd around the Cardiff City Stadium as Wales took on Ukraine in their World Cup qualifier. A simple title – We’re Still Here – makes you want to

Mark Drakeford’s mission to create a Welsh super state

Few appreciate how mischievous Welsh devolutionists are when it comes to embedding themselves in the national consciousness. Take the Welsh translation for ‘first minister’, prif weinidog, which means ‘prime minister’. What was once a linguistic trick has now become an informal touch point in Wales. Regardless of his title, Mark Drakeford behaves, looks and sounds

Why the Welsh are turning their backs on rugby

In the space of a few days last month, two games were held a mile apart in Cardiff. The first was the concluding episode of the Six Nations tournament, the second a crucial World Cup football qualifier. Beyond jubilation and disappointment, the occasions exposed the gulf between the two most popular sports in Wales: the former

Wales is terrified of a repeat of the Aberfan disaster

While the Westminster bubble has spent the last few weeks focusing on Tory sleaze and COP26, the Welsh have been facing a far more consequential challenge. The problem is the country’s coal tips: monstrously black, heavy slag heaps, omnipotent and ever-present reminders of the great industry that once dominated Britain’s economy and fuelled the furnace

It’s time to upgrade the office of the Welsh first minister

Some of the most revealing detail from newly released 1997 government files relate to Welsh constitutional affairs. The Home Office advised against the Queen opening the new Welsh Assembly, for instance, judging the institution to be ‘wholly subordinate’ to Westminster even before the people of Wales had voted for it. Tony Blair and John Prescott

Welsh independence faces an existential crisis

Wales has never embraced the notion of independence and perhaps never will. So it was unsurprising that YesCymru, a grassroots nationalist movement formed to support Scottish secession in 2014, was more or less irrelevant for the first five years of its existence. Its official launch in 2016 went without notice. Wales’ decision to follow England

Drakeford draws up his battle lines on the Union

A little over two years ago, a relatively unknown First Minister of Wales unveiled his blueprint to repair intergovernmental relations across the UK. As he delivered the annual Keir Hardie lecture at Merthyr Tydfil College, Mark Drakeford said that he had been forced to ‘take up the baton where the UK government itself has dropped

King of Fortress Wales: an interview with Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford sits opposite me in a small conference room on the third floor of Cathays Park, the nucleus of Welsh government operations during Covid-19. The First Minister of Wales is in bullish mood. Last month, he almost single-handedly delivered a thumping election victory for Labour in Wales – securing 30 seats in the Senedd

Number 10 should fear a Welsh nationalist coalition

As Disraeli’s famous maxim goes: England does not love coalitions. In Wales, by contrast, we can’t get enough of them. Throughout the devolved era deal-making has created and sustained governments, including the current Labour-led administration – backed by the sole remaining Senedd member for the Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, and the independent statesman Lord Elis-Thomas.

Wales’s election is finally heating up

You could be forgiven for forgetting that there is an election happening in Wales. The looming possibility of an SNP majority in Scotland, violence on the streets of Belfast and the death of the Duke of Edinburgh have led to a somewhat lulled campaign in recent weeks. Thankfully, last night’s ITV Wales television debate got