‘Cheap shot’ to suggest Johnson could learn from Wales, Tory minister complains
A Tory minister has branded a suggestion that Boris Johnson could “learn from the example” that has been set in Wales, as a “cheap shot”.
The Westminster-appointed Welsh Secretary, Simon Hart, bristled at a question from Welsh Labour MP Gerald Jones, during a debate in the House of Commons.
The Conservative politician, who represents the constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, complained about being “goaded” by the MP Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
Jones suggested that the booster programme has been a success in Wales because the Welsh Government “earned the respect and trust of the people of Wales due to the clear and consistent messaging”.
Hart responded by saying that the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 guidelines include a “huge number of mystifying and contradictory positions”.
Gerald Jones said: “Over 75% of eligible adults in Wales have already had their booster, thanks in no small part to the fact that the Welsh Government have earned the respect and trust of the people of Wales due to the clear and consistent messaging throughout the pandemic.
“What lessons does the Secretary of State think that the Prime Minister and his Government could learn from the example set by the Labour Government in Wales?”
Simon Hart replied: “That is a slightly cheap shot, especially in a week when, under Welsh Government guidelines, it seems that it is all right for people to go to a pub but not to their office.
“They can watch the rugby from the clubhouse but not from the touchline. They can go to a gym but they cannot partake in an outdoor activity such as parkrun.
“There is a huge number of mystifying and contradictory positions—the hon. Gentleman goaded me into that. The vaccine programme has to be one of the best examples ever of co-operation, not competition, between Governments.
“That has been absolutely essential and it has been done in a good spirit, with professionalism, and has been an enormous success.”