Drakeford and Sturgeon warn Johnson four nation summit must be more than ‘PR or box-ticking exercise’
Wales and Scotland’s First Ministers have written a joint letter to Boris Johnson warning him that Thursday’s four-nation summit must be more than a “PR or box-ticking exercise”.
The Prime Minister wrote to Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon after the devolved elections on 6 May inviting them to a meeting to discuss their shared challenges in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.
In the letter, he said that “people across the UK, and in particular, the people of Wales are best served when we work together”.
Responding today, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon said they were both “deeply committed” to taking part in such a summit “and to working appropriately together on Covid Recovery”.
However, they added that they “want the meeting to be a meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes, and not just a PR exercise”.
“Our view is that this will be best achieved if further detailed preparation is done in advance,” they said.
“Your office sent a very rough proposed agenda only yesterday morning and our view is that further work is needed to agree key issues for discussion and any supporting papers to be prepared.”
Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon also demanded to know “what outcomes/further process we are seeking to achieve as a result of the summit discussion”.
“Further discussion between our officials – leading to the summit taking place on an agreed date, perhaps as early as next week – would allow for a much more meaningful exercise, and avoid the risk of it being just a PR or box-ticking exercise.
“We are sure that is what we all want.”
Mark Drakeford, who won a 30 seat mandate at this month’s Senedd election, has been critical of Boris Johnson’s lack of communication in the past.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford was heard saying “he really, really is awful” following a call with Boris Johnson in a S4C fly-on-the-wall documentary of his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He has also accused Boris Johnson and the UK Government of “thinly hidden assaults” on Wales’ ability to make decisions for itself.