Commonwealth Games bid withdrawal blasted

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has this week announced that it will not be submitting a formal bid for Wales to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. 

The Labour Welsh Government made its shock announcement this week, citing funding uncertainties as a consequence of Brexit.

The move has been slated by some, with Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies describing it as ‘a sad day for Welsh sport’.

A study was conducted, but that revealed costs of between £1.3bn and £1.5bn and Economy Secretary Ken Skates said a bid would not be feasible.

That is despite costs for the Glasgow Commonwealth games in 2014 totalling a cost of £543m.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said: “This is hugely disappointing, and it’s rather pathetic that the Welsh Government is once again attempting to use Brexit as a smokescreen to disguise a lack of ambition and imagination.

“Having jumped on the bandwagon of Welsh sporting success over the summer, the Welsh Labour Government is now abandoning the stage.

“Welsh sport needs major competitions and stars for the future – not working groups.

“Clearly a bid would have come at great cost, but over the extended period, the economic, social and sporting benefits to Wales would have been huge.”

Local Assembly Member and Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy, Adam Price, has criticised the decision to not bid to host the Commonwealth Games as ‘wilfully ignoring the pressing need to attract investment into the Welsh economy’.

Adam Price AM said that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union should be an incentive, not a deterrent, to attract new investment to Wales.

The Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy said: “Rather than show resilience and send a clear message that Wales can weather the Brexit storm, the Labour Government seems to be resigning to the fact that the challenges facing our economy are insurmountable.

“If anything, the UK’s decision to leave the European Union should be an incentive, not a deterrent, to taking bold steps to attract new investment to Wales. Wales needs to engage with the world – we need to be proactive in marketing our economy, our people and our ideas.

“Not only have the Labour Government made the wrong decision, but by making this announcement while the National Assembly is in recess, they have shown an utter disregard for scrutiny and accountability. This decision shows that Labour not only lacks ambition, but also the courage to explain its decisions.

“Hosting the Commonwealth Games 10 years from now would have acted as a huge global shop window for Wales, allowing us to showcase the best of our great nation to the world.”

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Dayne Stone

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