Welsh Government accuses Rishi Sunak of 'choosing to mislead people' over 20mph default speed limit

Rishi Sunak is in Manchester for the Conservative party conference. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister has been accused of "choosing to mislead people" after calling the new 20mph default speed limit in Wales a "blanket restriction".

Rishi Sunak was speaking on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC ahead of the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

It comes after he did an interview with ITV Cymru Wales on Friday. He repeatedly described the Welsh Government's policy as a "blanket speed limit".

It is something ministers in Wales reject.

First Minister Mark Drakeford posted on X, formerly Twitter, saying it was "disappointing to see the Prime Minister misleading people on 20mph, whether intentionally or inadvertently".

The new default speed limit means previous 30mph roads have been reduced to 20, where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.

On the politics show, Mr Sunak described cars as a form of transport people "rely on the most".

He added that "too many" people he has spoken to across the country feel like "everyone's trying to stop them" using their cars by "imposing on them blanket speed restrictions, that's what we've seen in Wales".

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, is expected to say in his Tory conference speech that Welsh Labour has "imposed extreme policies on the Welsh people".

In a statement issued to ITV News, the Welsh Government said the Prime Minister's comments on Sunday morning were "profoundly disappointing".

A Welsh Government spokesperson added: "The Prime Minister is inadvertently or intentionally, choosing to mislead people about the introduction of 20mph.

"It is not a blanket restriction. Speed limits on a great number of roads in Wales are unchanged and journey times take around a minute longer.

"This will save lives and make our communities safer."

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