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Saturday, November 09, 2019

Are the Tories just another misogynistic boys club?

Yesterday's Wales on Line reports that journalists finally tracked down former Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns while canvassing in his constituency. Now, those doorstep encounters are a series of conversations I would like to listen in on.

Are constituents challenging their Tory candidate on what he knew and when he knew it, regarding the role of his friend and employee in the collapse of a rape trial? Are they asking him if he lied when he said he didn't know anything about the circumstances of this collapse until last week, despite an e-mail suggesting otherwise? To what extent has this controversy impacted on the Conservative vote in the Vale of Glamorgan?

To date it seems that the Conservative Party, and Boris Johnson in particular, are going to brazen it out and back Cairns to remain a candidate in the General Election. They still have time to change their mind. The real question however, is what this issue says about the nature of the Conservative Party.

As far as I can see neither Cairns, any senior figure in the Welsh Conservative Party nor the Prime Minister appear to have apologised to the victim. Their main consideration is damage limitation. When challenged yesterday, Cairns gave a list of non-answers, did not apologise to the victim for what had happened and refused to account for his own actions.

I doubt if many voters will consider it an adequate answer to their queries if they are referred to a cabinet inquiry into whether Cairns has broken the ministerial code. Instead we have a series of white middle aged men focussing on their own careers and that of their party, apparently with no regard for the victim, her ordeal and whether their actions in backing Ross England were right or wrong.

It is little wonder that many people consider the Conservative Party in Wales to be nothing more than a misogynistic boys club. Isn't it time these senior figures grew some cojones and apologised to all concerned?
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