Theo Davies-Lewis

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

Is Welsh devo-scepticism beginning to unravel?

Calls to abolish the Welsh parliament are nothing new: Wales rejected devolution in 1979 and voted only by the smallest of margins for partial self-government almost 20 years later. In spite of this, the Welsh political establishment have embraced the potential of devolved politics over the last two decades. And so the devo-sceptics have never

Welsh Labour’s Red Wall is crumbling

For a long time, Lord Mandelson’s famous quip that the people of south Wales ‘will always vote Labour because they have nowhere else to go’ rang true. The party dethroned the Liberals in 1922 to become Wales’s voice at Westminster and have won every general election since. In more recent times the onset of devolution

The 80-minute nationalism of Wales vs England

Every year, one match during the Six Nations – either in the heart of Cardiff or the depths of West London – sets the heart rate of Welsh rugby fans to dangerous levels. When Wales face England this weekend there is no doubt that millions west of Offa’s Dyke will be captivated by one of

Why the Welsh Tory leader has to go

For a party that is so obsessed with bursting the ‘Cardiff Bay Bubble’, the Welsh Conservatives certainly enjoy the Senedd’s tearoom. This week reports emerged that Tory members of the Senedd, including party leader Paul Davies, drank alcohol on Welsh parliament premises, days after a ban on serving it in pubs took effect. A Senedd

Wales’ vaccine problems mount for Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford has been a popular figure throughout the pandemic. The Welsh First Minister’s authoritative grasp of detail and his professorial briefings have helped foster a sense of national confidence that ministers in Cardiff have a better grip on the public health emergency than politicians in Westminster. Today’s Welsh Barometer poll for ITV Cymru reaffirms

Has Wales turned on Mark Drakeford over Covid?

11 December has long stirred the imagination of the Welsh. On this day in 1282, the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was slain by Edward I’s army at Cilmeri. The Tywysog’s head was then apparently taken to the Tower of London and put on display for 15 years. The Welsh he left

Mocking the Welsh is still the last permitted bigotry

Even after Wales voted marginally for a form self-government in 1997, there was incredulity that these remnants of Celtic antiquity thought they could look after their own affairs. Wales’ former first minister, Carwyn Jones, recalled what he saw as ‘casual racism’ towards the Welsh that still existed in the early years of devolution: ‘How incredible

Wales is beginning to split from the rest of Britain

‘I believe in the United Kingdom and in a successful United Kingdom’. For a committed unionist, Labour’s first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has done more than most to fan the flames of nationalism during Covid-19. In taking a markedly more cautious and communitarian approach to the pandemic compared to Downing Street, Drakeford has managed to both improve

Beg, borrow or steel: the case for saving Port Talbot

Growing up in south Wales, it is hard to escape the past. More than most other tired industrial regions of Britain, there is still a strange nostalgia of days gone by. Heavy industry and manufacturing gave us Tinopolis (Llanelli), Copperopolis (Swansea) and Treasure Island (Port Talbot). Although it is only the latter that has managed

Keir Starmer’s Welsh nationalism problem

There is no region of the UK where Labour has dominated more – both politically and culturally – than Wales. Since 1922, the party has consistently won general elections there, and has ruled Cardiff’s devolved government relatively unchallenged since it was established in 1999. But Keir Starmer would be wise to keep his eye on

What Boris can learn from David Lloyd George

The question of nationalism within the United Kingdom is not a new one. The popularity of self-governance and separatism has ebbed and flowed, but it has been a constant force that has strafed against the Union. If Boris Johnson is truly intent on preserving the United Kingdom then he would do well to look to

It’s time to devolve the Welsh Conservatives

Coronavirus has exposed the main weakness of Welsh Conservatives: as an essentially regional branch of an English party, its success has always relied on its national parent. This structure has made it a strong political force too. In December, the sweeping majority Boris Johnson won was largely down to his successful penetration of Red Wall

Why Wales and Westminster don’t agree on the lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon is a familiar figure to many even south of the border. But while Scotland’s nationalists are frequently seen and heard on the airwaves in England, the same isn’t true of Wales’s politicians. If you ask a Brit to name the first minister of Wales, you wouldn’t be surprised if they struggled to answer.