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Astonishing moment Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is caught on camera appearing to say farmers have ‘nothing better to do’ after latest furious protest against Labour’s subsidy plan


Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was accused of ‘naked contempt’ for farmers today after video emerged of him apparently mocking protesters during a visit to Rhyl.

The Labour politician appeared to say hundreds who turned up at a visit to a college in north Wales had ‘nothing better to do’, in footage published by the local newspaper.

As many as 200 people flocked to Coleg Llandrillo today, as part of a long-running row over changes to post-Brexit farm subsidies. 

The Rhyl Journal later published footage showing Mr Drakeford, who steps down in three weeks, discussing the protest inside. After being asked if it was ”nice to get past the tractors’, he seemed to be heard replying: ‘Nothing better to do, apparently.’ 

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives said: ‘Mark Drakeford has repeatedly shown his naked contempt for our farmers.

‘Labour’s anti-farmer policies will destroy agricultural communities in Wales, and will do the same to England if Keir Starmer ever gets the keys to Number 10.

‘Metropolitan politicians should listen to our rural communities and work with them rather than ignoring their concerns, because no farmers means no food.’

The Labour politician appeared to say hundreds who turned up at a visit to a college in north Wales had 'nothing better to do', in footage published by the local newspaper.

The Labour politician appeared to say hundreds who turned up at a visit to a college in north Wales had ‘nothing better to do’, in footage published by the local newspaper.

Wales has been struck by a series of protests by farmers over Labour's plans for a replacement for EU subsidy schemes, which involve them planting trees on 10 per cent of their land in exchange for handouts.

Wales has been struck by a series of protests by farmers over Labour’s plans for a replacement for EU subsidy schemes, which involve them planting trees on 10 per cent of their land in exchange for handouts.

At Rhyl College, Wales, 3,000 farmers and their families gathered today to protest

At Rhyl College, Wales, 3,000 farmers and their families gathered today to protest

One of the tractors in the protest carried a sign which read 'No Farmers, No Food, No Future'

One of the tractors in the protest carried a sign which read ‘No Farmers, No Food, No Future’

Pictured are a group of farmers and their tractors gathered in Rhyle Denbighshire today

Pictured are a group of farmers and their tractors gathered in Rhyle Denbighshire today

Protestors broke through the police cordon and demanded to speak to Mark Drakeford

Protestors broke through the police cordon and demanded to speak to Mark Drakeford

North Wales police block the access door to where Mark Drakeford attended Rhyl College

North Wales police block the access door to where Mark Drakeford attended Rhyl College

Wales has been struck by a series of protests by farmers over Labour’s plans for a replacement for EU subsidy schemes, which involve them planting trees on 10 per cent of their land in exchange for handouts.

Mr Drakeford was unrepentant at First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd yesterday in a clash with Mr Davies, saying: ‘I think it’s important that I remind the leader of the opposition why we are in the position that we are in: it’s because farmers in Wales took his advice and voted to leave the European Union…

‘Believe me, we are in the position that we are in today because we have taken back control of farming support in Wales, as we were obliged to do. If farmers in Wales were still able to have access to the funds that were available through the European Union, they would be in a very different position than they are having heard and followed his advice.’

The First Minister has been approached for comment.

It came as a new poll revealed nearly two-thirds of voters backed ‘don’t know’ over either candidate to replace him as the next Welsh first minister.

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed 'don't know' over Vaughan Gething or Jeremy Miles in the contest to become the next Welsh first minister, new polling has shown

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed ‘don’t know’ over Vaughan Gething or Jeremy Miles in the contest to become the next Welsh first minister, new polling has shown

Spanish farmers block major highways with their tractors in Madrid today

Spanish farmers block major highways with their tractors in Madrid today

The farmers' protests began on February 6 in Madrid and are ongoing today

The farmers’ protests began on February 6 in Madrid and are ongoing today

Crowds gather around the tractors and farmers in Madrid as they block highways in protest

Crowds gather around the tractors and farmers in Madrid as they block highways in protest

In a major embarrassment for Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles, 62 per cent answered ‘don’t know’ when asked who would make the better leader.

This compared to just one-fifth (20 per cent) who supported Mr Gething, and 17 per cent who backed Mr Miles.

Mr Gething, the economy minister, and Mr Miles, the education minister, are the two contenders to be the next Welsh Labour leader.

The winner of the leadership contest, who will be announced on 16 March, will then replace Mr Drakeford as the new Welsh first minister.

Mr Drakeford announced his resignation in December after five years in office.



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