BBC Wales Debate: Factchecked

31 May 2017 | Katie Craig

Last night from 8:30pm Full Fact were hard at work factchecking the BBC Wales leaders’ debate, hosted by Huw Edwards in Cardiff.

It was a live debate between Carwyn Jones (Labour), Darren Millar (Conservative), Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat), Neil Hamilton (UKIP) and Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru).

There were 5 main questions from the audience, which each leader would first briefly respond to, before it opened up to the floor for debate.

We’ve drawn together for you the quotes of the claims and the factchecks we tweeted in response.

First came the opening addresses by each of the five party leaders:

just 11 days after you go to the ballot box, the European Union will start its negotiations with the UK” – Darren Millar

“They don’t want you to think about working families relying on foodbanks” – Carywn Jones

“Welsh Labour is delivering...record employment” – Carwyn Jones

They then moved on to the first audience question on security, in the wake of the Manchester attacks:

“I have been very pleased that the UK Government have made available almost £3.5 billion, 30% extra for additional 1,900 more officers for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.” – Darren Millar

“Welsh Labour is delivering the best ever GCSE results” – Carwyn Jones

And the support we’ve received on Twitter as always has been so encouraging for our factcheckers to see:

“Police spending has been cut by 20% by the Home Office, including when Theresa May ran it, and that has meant 19,000 fewer police officers on our streets in Wales since 2010” – Leanne Wood

“Crime fell by a third while Theresa May was home Secretary” – Darren Millar

Then the second question asked about the consequences Brexit will hold on Wales:

“(Trade with the EU) It’s 67% of our exports” – Leanne Wood

“It’s important that we protect our access to that (European) market. We still have Brexit and do that, as other countries managed to do that” – Carwyn Jones

“EU funding accounts for 80% of all farming income” – Leanne Wood

The audience asked the leaders next about the economy, including foodbanks, tax cuts and pensions.

“We’ve got families living in poverty even though they’re working 2 or 3 jobs” – Audience member

“Taken many, many low-paid workers out of tax altogether, some 4 million people taken out of work” – Mark Williams

“(take money from) the overseas aid budget, not humanitarian and crisis aid, but long-term strategic goal aid, which is often very ineffective and cannot be monitored and measured effectively to see whether it’s working or not” – Neil Hamilton

“We’ve got nurses using foodbanks” – Carwyn Jones

“The UK has got a deficit of £56bn and the debt is £1.77bn and rising” – Leanne Wood

“we’ve managed to get the deficit down by two thirds” – Darren Millar

“Those who are the richest had a tax cut” – Carwyn Jones

It takes a lot of work and preparation in order to be able to have all the facts on hand during a live factcheck:

“Carwyn Jones carps on about the fact that we spend more on health per head (in Wales) than we do in England” – Darren Millar

“We are supporting pensioners, what you’ve seen since 2010, is pensioners get an increase in their income of £1250 per year, by the next financial tax year in terms of their basic state pension. That’s a far cry from the 25p that was added by Gordon Brown when he was Pirme Minister” – Darren Millar

And finally, we factchecked the debate on the NHS and immigration’s impact upon it:

“Longer waiting times (in Wales) than in England, longer waiting times for diagnostic tests and treatment, worse ambulance statistics, worse emergency service response times. Many more people waiting more than 4 hours in our emergency departments than they should be” – Darren Millar

“The record of the UK Conservative led Government since 2010 is one of additional increases in NHS expenditure to record levels. What we saw in Wales was actually cuts” – Darren Millar

“6% of our doctors come from the EU” – Carwyn Jones

So that’s all from us for now! We’ve already factchecked ‘The Battle for Number 10’ with Jeremy Paxman ( and ‘The Big Debate’ with Victoria Derbyshire (

So make sure to watch out for our upcoming live factchecks of the debates this week, including:

  • Tonight at 7.30pm, BBC1 host ‘The BBC Election Debate’ with a seven-way podium battle between senior Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party and UKIP spokespeople, with Mishal Husain moderating the debate.
  • Friday 2nd June at 8:30pm on BBC1 ‘Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn BBC Question Time special’, where both leaders will face audience questions separately for 45 minutes, in a session moderated by David Dimbleby.

We also have two Facebook Live Q&A sessions today at 6pm on Brexit and Immigration and next Tuesday 6th June on health and the economy, so tune in to the Press Association’s UK Politics page and comment with your questions when we go live!

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