Welsh term ‘cwtch’ used in UK Parliament for first time

The popular expression in the Welsh language most commonly means a hug or cuddle.

MP Fay Jones (left) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson
MP Fay Jones (left) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson

An MP has become the first person to use the Welsh term “cwtch” in UK Parliament.

Fay Jones, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said the word while questioning the Prime Minister in the House of Commons last week.

The popular expression in the Welsh language most commonly means a hug or cuddle but has no literal English translation.

Hansard, which publicly publishes a record of all parliamentary debates verbatim, has only one record of cwtch being used and it is from Ms Jones’ question on Wednesday (January 5).

The Conservative politician was criticising Wales’ Covid regulations and said: “On Friday, I will be holding my team meeting in the local pub because under Welsh Government rules we are not allowed to go to our socially distanced office. We cannot do parkrun and we cannot watch outdoor sport on the touchline — but we can cwtch up together in the clubhouse to watch it.

“May I commend the Prime Minister for his bold decisions, and ask whether he agrees that the inconsistencies in the rules in Wales are not just ludicrous, but are harming the Welsh economy?”

Boris Johnson replied referring to the country’s rules, which include mask-wearing indoors and the two-metre rule in public venues, as “baroque eccentricities”.

On Tuesday, Ms Jones tweeted: “Absolutely delighted to learn this morning that my use of the word ‘cwtch’ in the Commons last week was the first time that word has ever been used in Parliament.”

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