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English government dropping Covid rules to distract from ‘awful mess it finds itself in’, says Drakeford

21 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Naga Munchetty interviewing Mark Drakeford on BBC Breakfast

The government of England is dropping restrictions more quickly than Wales to distract from the “awful mess that it finds itself in”, according to Mark Drakeford.

During an interview with Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast, the Welsh First Minister took aim at Boris Johnson’s regime for not “following the science” and for trying to “grab headlines” with its approach to the pandemic.

The comments come amid a turbulent period for the UK Prime Minister, with calls for him to resign, amid reports of boozy parties being held in Downing Street during lockdown, a defection of an MP from the Conservatives to Labour, and allegations that Tory MPs have been “blackmailed” into dropping their opposition to UK Government policies.

The Welsh Government announced a phased easing of restrictions last night, with a gradual rerun to alert level zero by January 28.

This contrasts with a much faster dropping of restrictions in England, where policies such as mandatory face coverings in public places and Covid passports have been scrapped.

Mark Drakeford was asked during the the interview on BBC Breakfast why he had not followed the approach taken in England.

Naga Munchetty said: “I’m sure many people in Wales will be looking to restrictions that have been eased in England and thinking, why are we not there? Why are we not at that stage if we’re hearing, the same, a similar message from the UK Government that looks after the rules in England that numbers are coming down, hospital admissions, the pressure is easing on the NHS?”

Mark Drakeford said: “Well we’ve always taken a different approach in Wales, one that does things step by step, in line with the science.

“We’re a government that doesn’t need to grab headlines to distract attention from the difficulties that we would be in if we were in the same position as the government of England and I think people in Wales have demonstrated their support for that more cautious, more step by step approach because it has kept Wales safe, and it’s kept Wales open.”

‘Save itself’ 

Naga Munchetty said: “Are you saying that the UK Government has favoured, has lent towards more favourable headlines to save itself rather than following the science?”

Mark Drakeford replied: “Well absolutely. I don’t think there’s any doubt at all that the UK Government has long abandoned any sense that it is following the science. It is a government desperately mired in difficulties of its own making and is forever on the lookout for a headline that will distract people’s attention from the awful mess that it finds itself in.”

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2 years ago

The Tories have never been a party – just a coalition of mainly deplorables, and it seems that the more google eyed, spittle flecked deluded fanatics are in the ascendant again.

I still blame Labour’s unwillingness to consider PR and form a coalition with the Lib Dems for everything that has happened since 2008.

2 years ago
Reply to  Erisian

FM Drakeford has been pretty good through this crisis, and we still do not know that a further twist in the Covid tale won’t come? Keep cool, campaign for Independence, join Yes Cymru.

Last edited 2 years ago by I.Humphrys
Grayham Jones
2 years ago

The UK is finished Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 and Ireland 🇮🇪 got to be independent

2 years ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

I agree. Two for independance and one for reunification judging by that flag.

2 years ago

If things follow the same trajectory as last year than we’ll continue to have fall in cases and then low case numbers for several months. Boris up until this point has not been able to “follow the science” because of issues within his own party but isn’t it possible that the picture has changed now?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 years ago
Reply to  George

Many of us who are vulnerable think that Englans is giving up way too fast and Wales should be a good bit slower.

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