The former Senedd leader of the Welsh Conservatives has denied equating protesters at the US Capitol to those who supported a second referendum on Brexit.
Andrew RT Davies said accusing Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of campaigning to “overturn democracy” in a Twitter post was “a statement of truth and fact”.
Mr Davies, who is currently his party’s shadow health minister, had responded to a tweet by Sir Keir who described the “horrendous scenes” in Washington DC as “a direct attack on democracy”.
Quoting the tweet, Mr Davies wrote: “To be honest I’m not sure you’re in the strongest position right now given you campaigned to overturn democracy and the will of the British people.”
Shocking that Andrew Davies won't apologise and withdraw his comments. Equating armed violence in Washington DC with peaceful democratic debate in the UK is dangerous and legitimises & incites violence here. I have written to @amandamilling & @Conservatives must act immediately. https://t.co/WNsY2hRGJL
— Angela Rayner 😷 (@AngelaRayner) January 11, 2021
Asked if he stood by his tweet, he told BBC Wales on Monday: “I didn’t post a tweet that pointed out people who voted to remain were the same as the people in Washington.
“The people in Washington and the acts that they undertook were absolutely abhorrent as I pointed out in my Twitter.
“I was directing my comments directly to the leader of the Opposition in the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, who had taken a position for three-and-a-half years of wanting to overturn the referendum result.
“That is a statement of truth and fact that cannot be denied.”
Following Mr Davies’ latest comments, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said in her own tweet: “Shocking that Andrew Davies won’t apologise and withdraw his comments.
“Equating armed violence in Washington DC with peaceful democratic debate in the UK is dangerous and legitimises and incites violence here.
“I have written to @amandamilling & @Conservatives must act immediately.”
Ms Rayner had previously written to Tory Party chairwoman Amanda Milling, calling for an inquiry into Mr Davies’ comments, for his membership to be suspended, and for him to be prevented from standing as a Tory candidate in May’s Welsh Parliament election.