News

‘England is the global outlier’ on Covid restrictions – not Wales – says Mark Drakeford

07 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), picture by the Welsh Government.

England is the global outlier on Covid-19 restrictions, not Wales, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford was asked at today’s press conference why Wales was continuing with restrictions while Prime Minister Boris Johnson in England had decided not to introduce them.

The First Minister has confirmed that current restrictions will stay in place in Wales for at least another week, despite the Omicron variant not being “as severe as feared”.

Asked why he wasn’t falling into line with England, he said: “I would put the question in the opposite way. The outlier here is not Wales.

“Wales is taking action as are countries might across Europe, and the globe. The one country that stands out is England. The question is not why is Wales not following England, but why is England such a global outlier in governments protecting their populations.

“Here in Wales, we have a government that is capable to act and determined to do so when necessary, in England we have a government that is politically polarised. The Prime Minister can’t take the action his advisors have told him to take.

“Even if he could get his Cabinet to agree with them, he couldn’t get them past his MPs.”

He said that it was “easy to see” that other parts of the world were going “far beyond” the measures Wales was taking.

“The Prime Minister has decided to ‘ride it out’ as he has said, as he doesn’t have any other political options,” he added. “The advice shows consistently that an enormous wave of Omicron is coming your way, and here are the actions that could be taken.

“In the end, it is politicians that must decide on the advice that they are given. But there is no doubt that the advice the UK Government has had is one that asked them to take action rather than sit back and just allow things to happen.”

Mark Drakeford also suggested that he could not take restrictions any further because he needed financial support from the UK Treasury.

“Despite repeated efforts to get the UK Government to act in that responsible way – by ourselves and Scotland and Northern Ireland – we have not had the answer we thought we were entitled to expect,” he said.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
17 days ago

I pay tribute to Mark Drakeford for his courageous work and for not giving in to the Covid-sceptics. He is putting people’s safety first. A true leader!

Last edited 17 days ago by Mr Williams
Brian Coman
Brian Coman
17 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

But he is not putting mental health or the economy anywhere, and why do so many want a Corbyn/ Momentum supporter in charge ?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
17 days ago
Reply to  Brian Coman

Why do so many want Boris the Liar in charge? He is completely useless, incompetent and totally self-serving. You may not agree with Drakeford’s policies but he is at least doing it for the right reasons,unlike the Dullard of Downing Street.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
17 days ago

As Omicron rampages through England, what I find amazing is how Boris Johnson is playing good cop bad cop by reminding all to be cautious and to only use the English NHS as a last resort due to it being overstretched, and on the other hand has removing all Covid restrictions in England causing their NHS the dire issues it currently faces. And it’s now obvious that Boris Johnson with pressure from his backbenchers & ERG Far-Right wing is using herd immunity in England. He did similar during the first wave of Covid-19 when he sent aged Covid patients from… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Y Cymro
Rich
Rich
16 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

It was the winter of 2017-18 – the last bad flu season when more than 300 people a day were dying from that virus at one point.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
17 days ago

Typical English exceptionalism – they don’t even realise they are one of the only countries to just ignore the problem and put the economy before people’s lives. Sad for England really, it looks so foolish in doing so.

Rich
Rich
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Suggest you read this then look at why Mark is locking you down.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
15 days ago
Reply to  Rich

There’s no getting around it, I’m no Labour voter or even a particular fan of Drakeford really but on this occasion he is dead right – England is the outlier across the World not here and Europe. Why – money.

Tom
Tom
16 days ago

If the Welsh Government have never stopped mandating masks, and now have 2+ in restaurants, one-way in supermarkets, WFH, banned sport spectating and all the rest of it – why does England have far, far fewer cases per head of population?

Furthermore, what was the point of devolution if the line the Welsh government takes is “we’re following what everyone else is doing, so we must be on the right path”. Makes it all seem a bit pointless, no?

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.