Posted: Sat 22nd Jan 2022

“Slurs” are “straightforward deflection tactic” say Conservatives as First Minister attacks PM Johnson

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jan 22nd, 2022

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew Davies MS has accused the First Minister Mark Drakeford of ‘slurs’ and making “completely unnecessary and inappropriate comments” after a briefing on the pandemic at lunchtime.

Mr Davies again highlighted a call for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry, something that has been rejected many times by the First Minister.

The dispute arose in the regular lunchtime pandemic briefing on Friday where the First Minister pointed to ONS data, “Wales has the lowest rate of infection anywhere in the United Kingdom. The rate of decline in Wales is the fastest anywhere in the United Kingdom”, and was asked about the contrast between ongoing measures in Wales against the removal of restrictions in England.

The First Minister defended regulations in Wales, stating he had seen the same advice as England, and then went on the attack, “As for the UK Government, let me just say if anybody believes that their announcements this week about Coronavirus were the result of a careful consideration of the science or because they had a well worked out plan for what they were doing. I think that would be a very optimistic view indeed of the state of play in the UK Government.

“Everything that is happening in Westminster at the moment is seen entirely through the lens of how can we get something else to be reported, other than the dire difficulties that the Prime Minister has created for himself, and that’s what I believe lies behind the announcements that we’ve seen this week.”

Doubling down he later added, “The government is simply not functioning. It is not functioning as a normal ordinary government, discharging the responsibilities that fall to it in managing the economy, in taking the everyday decisions that governments have to make. This is a government that at the moment is simply not capable of doing the ordinary business of government in a competent and sensible way because it is overwhelmed by headlines that surround the dreadful events that went on in Downing Street.”

The First Minister also made personal comments about Prime Minister Johnson, saying he had ‘many flaws’ and was “someone who’s been sacked from two previous jobs for not telling the truth”.

Andrew Davies MS reacted to the comments saying, “These are completely unnecessary and inappropriate comments by the First Minister and is further proof that it’s always been about the politics, and not the science, for his Labour administration in Cardiff Bay.

“They are a straightforward deflection tactic from a government that has punished Welsh families and businesses with the harshest restrictions in the UK throughout the pandemic but has also tragically experienced the highest death rate of all home nations.

“Drakeford’s claim that he follows the science doesn’t stand up to any sort of scrutiny either. Only at Christmas, he was told by the Labour Government’s scientific advisors to lockdown for four weeks over Christmas to tackle Omicron but chose not to do so.

“Thankfully, he didn’t as the modelling showed a scenario far worse than the reality. But sadly, the restrictions he did choose to inflict on families and business in Wales have been proven economically cruel and clinically unnecessary.

“And the fundamentally key point remains. If the Labour Government is so confident in its actions during the pandemic as it’s chosen such a different path to England, then they should submit themselves to the Wales-specific Covid inquiry that Mark Drakeford is currently blocking.

“What does he and his Labour ministers have to hide if, as he claims, they made all the right calls?”

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