Welsh police have been accused of subverting the democratic process after they were caught on video “harassing” a Member of the Welsh Parliament for distributing political leaflets for the upcoming election.
Neil McEvoy MS, who is challenging the left-wing Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford for his seat in Cardiff West, accused the police of political intimidation after they showed up on his doorstep to warn him to refrain from campaigning.
In the video, Mr McEvoy criticised the police for an apparent double standard, as the South Wales Police have been distributing “crime prevention” leaflets. He went on to say that his political party, Propel, will seek to remove the Chief Constable if the “abuse of the democratic process” continues.
In comments made to Breitbart London, McEvoy said: “This is nothing less than the Labour Welsh Government abusing the powers it has to target other parties with less money.
“Labour has simply come up with this ‘guidance’, which was not voted on, is not actual law and has no scientific basis, specifically to target volunteers delivering election leaflets.”
McEvoy, whose Propel Wales party argues in favour of Welsh independence, and against lockdown from a broadly free market-centrist position, said there was a double standard at work where established forces like the police and Welsh Labour party were at liberty to get their messages out but new political parties were effectively blocked. He continued in his remarks: “people receive all manner of other leaflets through the door every day, including from the police. I think it’s a breach of the Human Rights Act, as it’s put in place a policy that puts certain parties and candidates at a disadvantage.
“When the police are banging on politicians’ doors late in the evening to “caution” them against delivering election leaflets you know things have gone too far. I didn’t think this kind of thing could happen in Wales but I’m really concerned that our democracy is under threat,” McEvoy concluded.
I used to look with concern at police harassment of politicians in other countries. Never thought it could happen here. Now it's taking place on my own doorstep.
— Neil McEvoy MS (@neiljmcevoy) February 15, 2021
The Welsh Government has argued that passing out campaign leaflets for the May 6th election is “not a reasonable excuse to leave home”.
First Minister Drakeford has also said that volunteers should not be used to distribute leaflets but suggested that paid delivery mail services and social media advertisements could be employed to get out a candidate’s message.
In January, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Jane Dodds accused Drakeford of trying to limit the teacher of smaller political parties and non-wealthy candidates.
“Mark Drakeford should be following the science and not party politics. If it is safe for individuals to be paid to deliver leaflets, then it’s safe for volunteers to do the same. Stopping volunteer delivery means that only large parties and rich candidates will be able to campaign on any great scale.
“I honestly thought Labour were better than this,” she added.
Liberal Democrat candidate Cadan ap Tomos said: “This is a blatant attempt to shut out smaller parties and many well-meaning independent candidates out of the democratic process.”
In January, London mayoral candidate Brian Rose was fined by police for campaigning on what he described as his “COVID safe” bus.
“With an unelected mayor currently heading up our city for the past year, including its police force, it is incredibly worrying that democracy is being eroded in this way, while the mayor’s own team continue to campaign,” Mr Rose said.
Khan’s term as mayor expired last year but the election was postponed because of coronavirus.
Britain Is Turning Into a Totalitarian Police State, Warns Top Lawyer Lord Sumption https://t.co/pLAKQoAYaT
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2020
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka