Four nation Covid recovery summit with Boris Johnson ‘called off’
A four nation Covid recovery summit with Boris Johnson has been called off, it has been reported.
The cancellation follows the publication of a joint letter from Wales and Scotland’s First Ministers warning the UK Prime Minister that it must be more than a “PR or box-ticking exercise”.
Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon called for clarity on the agenda, saying they had only received a rough outline
According to ITV Wales Political Editor Adrian Masters, no reason has been given for cancelling the gathering of leaders, which was due to be held tomorrow .
Johnson 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, 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.”