Drakeford accused of ‘tone deaf’ response to criticism of Loach event appearance

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Drakeford accused of ‘tone deaf’ response to criticism of Loach event appearance

Welsh First Minister didn't address his decision to speak at a fringe event with the left-wing filmmaker after an angry letter from one of his constituents expressed 'disgust'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Mark Drakeford
Mark Drakeford

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has failed to address his decision to speak at a fringe conference featuring the controversial film maker Ken Loach in response to a letter from angry constituent.

Drakeford, who is also leader of Welsh Labour, confirmed in a response that he had accepted an invite to speak at The World Transformed event on September 27 in Brighton.

Loach – who was last month auto-excluded from Labour over his membership of a proscribed organisation – is also amongst the speakers booked for the four day event – which coincides with the official Labour conference.

A Cardiff South and Penarth resident, who asked not to be named, had written to Drakeford last week to express their “disgust” he was billed to appear at an event with the film director who they added was “the same Ken Loach of ‘Perdition’ fame.”

The constituent added:”First Minister, I hope your inclusion in this event is a mistake … and you will make a public statement and apology.”

But in his response, Drakeford failed to mention Loach by name and instead added: “I am pleased to be able to put on record once again my very firm views that there is no place for antisemitism in Wales or in Labour.

“I  have accepted an invitation to speak at a fringe event at the Labour PArty conference later this month, diary permitting, about a Welsh pilot of universal basic income – a policy which was part of the We;sh Labour manifesto…. The conversation would be with a Welsh Labour MP and an economist.”

The local consitituent said Drakeford’s response to their email was “tone deaf.”

The First Minister then added:”Conference is always an opportunity for us to show the rest of the party what a Labour Government can achieve for people.”

The World Transformed is an event launched under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – but is backed by groups such as Momentum, Unite and the CWU union.

Loach’s name appears near the top of the list of speakers at this year’s conference – despite his expulsion for involovement with the Labour Against The Witchhunt group, accused of downplaying or denying antisemitism in Labour.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: