BREXIT has “airbrushed” critical issues facing Wales off the political agenda, Archbishop of Wales John Davies has said.

“Alongside global problems such as climate change, the continuing refugee crisis, and the international phenomena of modern slavery, trafficking and criminal exploitation, our long-cherished and once world-leading public services have suffered relentless cutbacks in spending and provision,” the Archbishop said in a statement ahead of the General Election on December 12.

He argued that there must be a political will to improve public services after “relentless cuts”.

“To improve our public services, which have suffered relentless cuts set, uncomfortably, alongside promises of lower taxes, there must be a commitment and a willingness to pay for what needs to be improved, together with a tax system that ensures that tax avoidance by companies and individuals is eliminated,” he said.

“The persistence of poverty and homelessness is shocking.

“We see prison conditions which are uncivilised and which brutalise rather than reform, and a justice system which, due to cuts to local services and reductions in legal aid, in some cases actually denies access to justice.”


The Archbishop also criticised the tone of current political debate, labelling it “shameful”.

“In the campaign that has already begun – badly skewed, poorly focused and too noisily some would say - we deserve to, and need to, hear about these issues again," he said.

“We must demand that they are debated honestly and carefully for the sake of our integrity as a country and as a national family.

“And we must be allowed to hear about them through honest, reasoned and respectful debate, and not by means of a strident, emotive and, frankly, shameful, highly personal style of debate, a style that has both debased and disfigured the scene for too long.”

Despite the onset of political “weariness” he urged the public to exercise their right to vote.

He said: “The right to vote is a freedom we take for granted, a freedom hard won, and a freedom that is not universally enjoyed throughout the nations of the world.”