Tories including Suella Braverman back Welsh Secretary David TC Davies

Tories including Suella Braverman back embattled Welsh Secretary David TC Davies as he faces a police investigation into an election leaflet criticising Labour over traveller sites

  •  David TC Davies published flyer criticising traveller sites in Monmouthshire

Tory leaders and constituents last night backed the embattled Welsh Secretary after he was reported to police over a leaflet about traveller sites.

David TC Davies published a flyer criticising Labour-run Monmouthshire Council after four locations were earmarked for new camps – mostly in areas represented by Conservative or independent councillors.

His leaflet attacked alleged flaws in the consultation process and included the question: ‘Would you like to see a traveller site next to your house?’

But its publication led to the Travelling Ahead Advocacy and Advice Service, supporting Wales-based gipsy, Roma and traveller communities, complaining to Gwent Police, which yesterday said it was considering an investigation.

The move against Mr Davies was criticised as a ‘waste of police time’ by a source close to Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden also backed Mr Davies.

David TC Davies was backed by Tory MPs and constituents including home secretary Suella Braverman after he published a leaflet criticising Labour over traveller sites

Residents of Osbaston, one of the villages earmarked for a traveller site, praised the Monmouth MP. Architect Pete Ashby, 64, said: ‘Mr Davies has highlighted a problem that everyone is afraid to mention. I hope he gets a pat on the back.’

Another villager said: ‘It’s a complete waste of police resources.

‘The police around here don’t act if you get broken into or have your car stolen. Whatever happened to free speech? It’s just a couple of members of the woke brigade stirring things up.’ 

A source close to Mrs Braverman said: ‘This appears to be a waste of time. The public want to see police out on their streets preventing crime and catching criminals, not inspecting MPs’ leaflets.’ 

Mr Dowden told Sky News: ‘David TC Davies was highlighting the failure of the local Labour council to carry out a proper consultation.’

The leaflet delivered to constituents in Monmouthshire, South Wales was titled ‘Gypsy and traveller site coming to your area soon!’

But a spokesman for Monmouthshire’s travellers said: ‘He’s completely out of order and should be looked into by the police and other agencies. Travellers are human beings – I don’t think someone as high up as him should paint all one race the same.’

The plans, proposed after a statutory review, were kicked into the long grass by Monmouthshire’s previous Tory regime but resurrected when Labour took control last year, after which potential sites on council-owned land were earmarked. 

There are just three gipsy pitches in Monmouthshire, all private, and six more which have planning permission but haven’t been built. There are no council-run sites.

In a statement Mr Davies, whose leaflet was published ahead of a council meeting last month at which the traveller site plans were deferred, denied the flyer was discriminatory and insisted the issue was ‘a legitimate matter for public debate and scrutiny’.

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