Canned covid meeting between First Ministers and Boris Johnson will finally be held today
Boris Johnson will finally chair a coronavirus recovery summit with Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon after it was called off last week.
The meeting was canned last week after the first ministers published a joint letter Boris Johnson that it must be more than a “PR or box-ticking exercise”. They also called for clarity on the agenda, saying they had only received a rough outline.
Number 10 Downing Street had blamed Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon for the postponement of a Covid-19 recovery summit.
The meeting today will also be attended by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and the Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.
Michael Gove said: “I am delighted that the leaders of the devolved administrations all responded positively to the Prime Minister’s invitation to join this important meeting on Covid recovery.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked together to stop the spread of the virus and to roll out life-saving vaccines. Our joint success has shown the world what we can achieve as a United Kingdom.
“We must take the same approach to the difficult challenge of rebuilding our economy and public services from the damaging impact of Covid-19.
“It will not be a quick or easy job, but we will all do better if we face the challenge together.”
A spokesperson for Number 10 Downing Street said last week: “As the PM set out, we need to overcome the significant challenges of the Covid recovery with the same spirit of unity and cooperation shown during the pandemic so it is disappointing that the Scottish and Welsh governments would prefer to delay this meeting so that they have more time to prepare, especially given the scale of the challenge. But we remain committed to that spirit of cooperation.
“The Prime Minister is keen to speak to the First Ministers and the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland about recovery.”