A senior Welsh Conservative politician has come under fire after comparing the storming of Capitol Hill by Donald Trump protesters to politicians who supported a second referendum on Brexit.
Andrew RT Davies is facing calls to remove a tweet aimed at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Labour MS (member of the Senedd) Alun Davies.
This comes after Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.
Responding to Sir Keir’s tweet calling the rioting a “direct attack on democracy”, the former Tory Senedd leader said: “To be honest I’m not sure you’re in the strongest position right now given you campaigned to overturn democracy and the will of the British people.”
To be honest I’m not sure you’re in the strongest position right now given you campaigned to overturn democracy and the will of the British people. https://t.co/dKV1PuB6VB
— Andrew RT Davies (@AndrewRTDavies) January 6, 2021
Davies then attacked Labour’s Blaenau Gwent MS, tweeting: “The scenes in Washington are a disgrace as I’ve said and all stem from politicians – like your good self – who refuse to accept the results of democratic elections.”
In a further tweet, pinned to his profile, he said: “Awful scenes in Washington DC. This is what happens when the outcome of a democratic election is not respected.”
A raft of senior politicians have blasted Davies’ tweet.
Labour’s Rhondda MP Chris Bryant called it tweet a “disgrace”.
“Equating democratic political debate with an armed violent assault on the Capitol validates violence,” he said.
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said there was “no excuse for using this moment to further entrench divisions in our society”.
There is no excuse for using this moment to further entrench divisions in our society. https://t.co/mGBTYwRW4W
— Mark Drakeford MS/AS 🏴 (@MarkDrakeford) January 6, 2021
Former Conservative MP and UK minister Alistair Burt, who lost to Conservative whip in 2019 after voting against the government on Brexit, said it was an “appalling and completely unworthy analogy”.
“Have you taken leave of your senses equating the two? If you are an office holder of any sort in the Conservative Party, resign now,” he added.
Antionette Sandbach, a former MP and Welsh Assembly Member, said: “This is an embarrassing par for the course for Andrew and is a reflection of his thinking which he frequently demonstrated as leader of the Welsh Conservatives.”
Labour’s Mark Tami MP tweeted: “Disgraceful. No serious politician, no serious person, would equate armed idiots attacking lawmakers with political debate. For a senior Welsh Conservative to push this argument is unbelievable. Politics in the UK is supposed to be better than this.”
No serious politician, no serious person, would equate armed idiots attacking lawmakers with political debate.
For a senior Welsh Conservative to push this argument is unbelievable. Politics in the UK is supposed to be better than this. https://t.co/FH1SsMhLOK
— Mark Tami MP (@MarkTamiMP) January 6, 2021
Davies said in a later tweet: “Violence must never be tolerated and I will work with politicians of all persuasions to ensure we never see scenes like those in Washington in this country.
“No one should be in any doubt about my position on this.”