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Conservatives welcome Labour MP call for Wales-specific Covid inquiry

11 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Chris Evans MP. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

Welsh Conservatives have welcomed an intervention by a Labour MP who has called for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry – contrary to the position of the Labour-run Welsh Government.

Chris Evans, the Labour MP for Islwyn, who is the shadow defence minister at Westminster, said that there “has to be some sort of inquiry. There’s been over 7,000 deaths.”

He said that “this is about bereaved families who have lost loved ones and have questions that need to be answered. I don’t think this is a political issue, it’s a moral issue.”

 Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said he was pleased” that there are Labour politicians “brave enough to break ranks and do what is right through calling for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry”.

“Hopefully this marks only the beginning and we will see more members of Mark Drakeford’s party turn around to him to tell him that he is wrong and the Cardiff Bay government has a duty to provide answers to all those who suffered loss due to the virus and lockdowns,” he said. 

“Chris Evans is right to highlight that devolution of powers cannot mean the evasion of accountability by the Labour Government. They made the decisions and, for good or ill, they must own them, ceasing their unending habit of blaming others in areas where they are responsible.

“The Welsh Conservatives will not stop in our determination to deliver justice for the people of Wales.”

‘Oversee’

Chris Evans told the BBC that he thought Mark Drakeford had been “very sympathetic” to campaigners from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice Cymru group after meeting them, but thought the issue is “something that will be looked at again”.

“In fairness to the government they were facing a pandemic we’d never seen on this scale before, not since Spanish flu in the 1920s.

“Their response was quick, it was right, but still there are questions and there are issues that need to be addressed and those need to be addressed I think by a Wales-wide inquiry specifically where we’re looking at the issues in Wales.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford has so far resisted pressure for a Wales-specific inquiry by all the Senedd opposition parties.

The Welsh government responded by saying: “A UK-wide inquiry will have the capacity and force to oversee the interconnected nature of the decisions that have been made across the four nations.

“The First Minister has written directly to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster about the many specific issues the inquiry must focus on to deal comprehensively with the actions of the Welsh government.”

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
16 days ago

The Bloody Sunday enquiry cost the UK government over £200M. Of course a Wales specific Covid enquiry won’t cost as much but are the Tories volunteering to pay? And will they guarantee that Tory ministers, lobbyists and placemen like Dido Harding, Iain Duncan Smith and Matt Hancock will appear to explain why they spent £300Bn of UK money on purely English fiascoes?
Pointless holding a Wales enquiry without reference to English waste, incompetence and profligacy, they nicked our PPE to begin with.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
16 days ago

Welsh Tory Russell George MS might be pleased that Labour MP Chris Evans called for a Wales specific Covid enquiry. Sure Welsh Labour are responsible being the Welsh Government of the day that runs our NHS, they should accept culpability for any mistakes leading to deaths, but they also followed advice from Whitehall in the beginning too. Both are at fault, more so Whitehall who were reckless with their mismanagement and contradictory advice at the start of the pandemic. And where the Tories had the luxury of the state TV and printed media, the Welsh Government message was initially drowned… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Y Cymro

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