Merched Cymru files complaint against Mark Drakeford for sexist response to Laura Anne Jones

Formal Complaint to the Standards Commissioner

On behalf of Merched Cymru we wish to lodge a formal complaint against First Minister Mark Drakeford regarding his sexist and aggressive response to a question from Laura Anne Jones MS in the Senedd on 9 May 2023.

His angry dismissal of her concerns as ‘shrill’ was clearly discriminatory. This insult is reserved exclusively for women who men wish to silence or ignore. It is a sexist trope that has no place in the Senedd, and which we had assumed was now a part of history.

The ad hominem linking of Ms Jones’ question on the meaning of the word ‘woman’ (an issue which goes to the heart of our sex-based rights) with racism and attacks on asylum-seekers was highly disingenuous and a clear attempt both to avoid the issue and to discredit Ms Jones personally.

We also note Mark Drakeford’s comment that ‘…this member and people like her spent the whole of April trying to raise these dog-whistle concerns’.

We can only assume that the category of ‘people like her’ include the many thousands of women who are fighting to retain our legal right to single-sex spaces, services and sporting opportunities – in Wales, in the UK and across the world.

These are not ‘dog-whistle concerns’; they are fundamental human rights issues, including the right to not be discriminated against, the right to safety, dignity and respect, and the right to free speech in a democratic society. These rights are under threat in Wales for women who do not subscribe to gender identity ideology.

The First Minister’s hectoring and misogynistic behaviour discriminates against all women in Wales and reinforces our view that he is neither willing to listen to us, or to represent us. This is a shocking dereliction of duty and is utterly unacceptable.

We would appreciate an early reply.