THE man who has been appointed as the UK Government's new cost-of-living business tsar is a backer of Welsh independence and has previously called for Boris Johnson to quit, it has emerged.

Earlier today it was announced David Buttress, who is chairman of the Dragons and former chief executive of Just Eat, has been appointed to a new role with a remit to work to “identify, develop and promote new and existing business-led initiatives that support people with rising costs of living”.

But questions have been raised over the appointment after it emerged Mr Buttress had publicly condemned the prime minister’s conduct earlier this year after it was revealed No 10 staff had been invited to a “bring your own booze party” while Covid restrictions were still in place. He has also been a vocal backer of Welsh independence - something the UK Government opposes. 

The prime minister’s official spokesman said Mr Buttress' remarks and opinions were “not relevant” to his new role.

Writing on Twitter the day after details of the party in the Downing Street garden were reported in the media, Mr Buttress said: “Why is it that the worse people often rise to the highest office and stay there!?

“For me, it isn’t important what job you do or your title, but it is vitally important why you do the job and what you achieve.

“Boris has to go, he just has to. You can’t survive judgment like this.”

Mr Buttress has also been a passionate advocate of Welsh independence – complaining “no party in the last hundred years has done more damage to Wales than the Conservatives”.

In one speech in January 2020, he declared: “Time is up on Westminster for me. Let them have the kind of powers and government that they want.

“Let them fill it with Boris Johnsons and right wing extremism – have what they like – but that is not the Wales I know. It is not a government I can recognise.”

In response, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “As you would expect for any sort of appointment, the requisite due diligence is carried out. This instance is no different.

“The individual you are referring to has a very clear task with regards to the cost of living as opposed to any other areas of Government policy.

“Anyone who looks at Mr Buttress’s CV can see that he is well-qualified to advise the Government in this specific area. Those views are not relevant to the role he is doing.”

South Wales Argus: