A letter has revealed that the Welsh Labour Government’s environment minister, Lesley Griffiths, refused to meet protestors from the group Extinction Rebellion, who brought Cardiff city centre to a standstill two weeks ago.
According to a letter sent by the minister, the protestors originally wrote to Ms Griffiths on 29th May regarding the climate emergency declaration and to request a meeting, but she only responded when the group was on its second day of protests in Wales’s capital city (Tuesday 16th July), blaming an ‘administrative error’ for the delay.
The contents of the letter also contradict the minister’s comments in the National Assembly for Wales on Wednesday 17th July, where in response to questions from her opposite number Andrew RT Davies, she claimed that ‘the protesters haven't tried to engage with me directly’.
Commenting on the revelations, South Wales Central AM and Welsh Conservative spokesman for the Environment, Andrew RT Davies AM said:
“The contents of this letter demonstrate a staggering level of incompetence at the heart of the Welsh Labour Government’s environment department.
“Residents and commuters in Cardiff will be shaking their heads in disbelief that the minister could’ve taken action and met with the group, potentially averting the chaos we witnessed in our capital city a fortnight ago.
“This letter also contradicts what Lesley Griffiths told me in the Assembly that very week – and I’m very disappointed that people have been seemingly misled to cover up for Labour’s inadequacy and embarrassment.
“Once again this shows that the Welsh Labour Government’s talk of a climate change emergency is just that – all talk and little to no action, as they can’t even be bothered to arrange a meeting.
“At the very minimum, the minister should’ve met with the protestors – she failed in that duty – and Cardiff residents, commuters and businesses were sadly left to pay the price.”