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Four nation Covid recovery summit with Boris Johnson ‘called off’

26 May 2021 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford, Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon

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”.

‘Working appropriately’

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.”

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Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

Well well….. Johnson stamps his foot again. Had enough yet? Roll on Welsh Indy.

William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
2 months ago

At least Boris’s advisors know he’s not in the same league. He’d need his nappy changing if he was faced with some real politicians.

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
2 months ago

I imagine Boris panicked at the words “detailed preparation”.

CJPh
CJPh
2 months ago

So, not “just a PR or box-ticking exercise”? Let’s not bother then…

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
2 months ago

Although it isn’t mentioned I think the cancellation of this meeting comes at an appropriate moment in time for Johnson as, in my,opinion, the appearance of Dominic Cummings before a House of Commons Committee today has, thus far, successfully placed high explosive under the seat of Government. I don’t like the man and I trust him and his motives for making these revelations even less but what he has said ensures embarrassment for the Executive and the whole Parliamentary Conservative Party. Both Drakeford and Sturgeon have been handed the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ with which to attack and potentially enable… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
2 months ago

No way this Tory government and all its caravan of toadying backbenchers and “officials” can stay in place after today.

John Davies
John Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  Mandi A

Unfortunately, they can. They have an 80/81 majority in Westminster for the next 3 years!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
2 months ago

The Cummings exposure probably has a lot to do with it, but equally likely is Johnson’s prior expectation that he could march into the meeting with a set of instructions to hand out. He bottled out when he saw that the two First Ministers were approaching the meeting as his equals.

Mandi A
Mandi A
2 months ago

Scotsman newspaper reporting that No. 10 was blaming Nicola Sturgeon for postponement of meeting. This piece gives a much fuller version of the background.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

It’ll take a lot for the Westminster establishment to change it’s ways – it’s too used to control. It will probably never change and that will suit a growing number of people just fine – they want out.

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