Tories Vote In Favour Of Calling Themselves 'Incompetent' By Mistake

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Ex-Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan has warned about incompetence
Ex-Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan has warned about incompetence

Whoops, wrong button. Conservative members of the Welsh Assembly were left red faced on Wednesday after they accidentally all voted in favour of calling the Conservative-led Westminster government "incompetent". Now that's incompetent.

According to the BBC Tory AM's accidentally joined Labour and Plaid Cymru politicians in signing up to a motion that blamed the UK government for its botched handling of the West Coast Mainline franchise.

Ministers and civil servants have been sharply criticised for the "technical flaws" in the Department for Transport process that led to the initial decision to hand the contract to FristGroup being scrapped, at a cost to the taxpayer of at least £40m.

Voting in the Cardiff assembly is done by electronic buttons on the Member's desks. A Tory spokesman said: "This was a whipping mistake and does not reflect the views of the Welsh Conservative group."

On Tuesday the former Welsh secretary, Cheryl Gillan, told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that the party was reputation was being damaged by Labour attacks on its ability to govern.

"We are a party that is losing our reputation for competence," she said.

In his party conference speech, the day before the West Coast Mainline fiasco was revealed, Ed Miliband said: "Have you ever seen a more incompetent, hopeless, out-of-touch, U-turning, pledge-breaking, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, back-of-the-envelope, miserable shower than this Prime Minister and this Government?"

The prime minister's colleagues in Wales have not helped matters. Welsh secretary David Jones may need to have words.