Drakeford hinting at lockdown to distract from lack of Welsh Covid inquiry claims Andrew RT Davies
The Welsh Conservative leader has claimed that Mark Drakeford is hinting that Wales will need another lockdown to distract from the lack of a Welsh Covid inquiry.
Writing for the Mail Online, Andrew RT Davies also suggested that the promise to pursue a Universal Basic Income pilot after the election was another attempt by the First Minister to avoid scrutiny of his record.
“So scared is the First Minister, he appears to resort to distraction tactics,” Andrew RT Davies wrote.
“When the Scottish government announced its Covid inquiry, he mused about the possibility of another lockdown. Instead of justifying past decisions, he seemed to want to spark speculation about future ones.
“I wonder if that’s why once the ‘Covid recovery election’ was over, the first thing he did was talk about introducing a Universal Basic Income? Irrelevant to the real needs of the people, and it wasn’t even in Welsh Labour’s manifesto.”
The First Minister has so far resisted pressure to announce an independent inquiry in Wales, arguing that a UK-wide investigation into the pandemic is sufficient.
However, he has said that the Welsh Government could “reconsider” its position on holding a Wales-specific Covid-19 inquiry in the future.
‘Not all it seems’
In his Mail article, Andrew RT Davies predicted that the First Minister would eventually announce his own independent probe of his government’s handling of Covid-19.
“Though Labour have a record in avoiding scrutiny, Mark’s deep-rooted need to be seen as some Welsh resistance fighter leads me to think that this is not all it seems,” he said.
“So, I’m going to do the opposite of a Captain Hindsight and try to predict the future: I believe Mark will begin expressing concerns about the terms of reference for a UK-wide inquiry, saying he’s being ignored. He will do this over several weeks to ensure the story rumbles on.
“Then he will come round to the idea of a Wales-specific inquiry, blaming those dastardly English Tories for undermining the Union by not listening to him. He wants to look like he’s pulling accountability back to Wales despite an inquiry always being in his power.”
YouGov polling for Cardiff University and ITV published yesterday showed that 43% of people in Wales backed a Covid inquiry for Wales while only 18% did not. 57% supported a public inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic, while 14% opposed it.
Conservative voters were the most likely to oppose an inquiry into the Welsh Government’s handling of the pandemic, with Plaid Cymru voters the most likely to support one.