Senedd Bites #99: Abolish the Assembly candidate threatens journalist

(Title Image: Voice.Wales)

Abolish the Assembly candidate threatens to harm journalist’s career following exposé

Former Brexit Party and current Abolish the Assembly candidate, Richard Taylor, has been recorded threatening a journalist from the Voice.Wales news site, after the site refused to retract a story reporting that he ran a rehabilitation programme which used clients as unpaid labour for the evangelical Victory Church.

They also reported that instead of earning qualifications, clients were declared unfit for work and forced to hand over a portion of their benefits to Taylor – who is himself a reformed convicted burglar and drug addict.

Voice.Wales’ Mark Redfern was told by Taylor that. “I will do everything in my power to make sure your career goes nowhere because I will plaster you all over social media on this,” and also “I know people as well within the media, right. I know certain people on mainstream media, not freelance journalists, and I’m going to go to them and speak to them as well… I’m coming all-guns-blazing.”

The National Union of Journalists said it was unacceptable for journalists to be threatened for doing their job.

Artists sign Plaid Cymru letter calling for arts support

Several dozen leading names in the arts from Wales signed a letter issued by Plaid Cymru calling for the Welsh Government to all of a forthcoming cash boost from the UK Government to support cultural activities.

The letter called for an emergency task force, a clear investment plan and a roadmap to recovery.

Sian Gwenllian MS (Plaid, Arfon said: “Having spoken to members of the arts sector, it is clear that they have been shouting from the rooftops for help, support and leadership during this crisis. Redundancy consultation periods are happening today across the country and in a few weeks, that process will be irreversible. Many freelance workers who fell through the gaps have not received a penny since this crisis began and are already facing losing their livelihoods and homes.”

£4million “lifeline” for community sport

Sport Wales has launched a £4million “Be Active Fund” to support grassroots sport and boost participation levels during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Executive, Sarah Powell, said: “Our clubs and groups are crucial in keeping the people of Wales active. If they don’t stay afloat or they can’t reopen safely, we can expect another crisis – that of inactivity and ill-health. We must not let that happen. Clearly, clubs will need to adapt many of their activities so that they fully adhere to health guidelines and social distancing requirements. The Be Active Wales Fund will help make that possible.”

The Senedd debated the Culture Committee’s report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sport yesterday afternoon.

Cardiff Council “unlikely to be repaid” as Coal Exchange owner enters administration

Cardiff Council – which spent more than £1million redeveloping the historic Coal Exchange before selling it to a developer for £1 – is set to lose out as a creditor after the developer entered administration.

The Coal Exchange was in the process of being redeveloped as a hotel. The developers, Liverpool-based Signature Living, reportedly were £25million in debt and had just £17 in their bank account.

Cardiff Council said: “When Signature Living took over the building in 2016 they agreed to repay the Council’s ’emergency work’ costs on completion of the hotel. With Signature Living going into administration there is now a risk that the £1.1m costs will not be recovered.”