Watch: Mark Drakeford accused of ‘faux pas’ after revealing what he discussed with the King at Cardiff Castle
Mark Drakeford has been accused of a “faux pas” after he revealed that the King was “concerned” about how people will manage during what is going to be a “difficult winter”.
The First Minister told TalkTV that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis came up in conversation with Charles during their audience on Friday, after the new monarch addressed the Welsh Parliament for the first time as sovereign.
But speaking on Talk TV’s Tom Newton Dunn, Politico Editor Jack Blanchar questioned whether the King had sanctioned Mark Drakeford to talk publicly about what was discussed.
“Well, I don’t know the Welsh for faux pas is Tom, but you’re not supposed to reveal what the monarch says to you in these private conversations,” he said.
“And for years, the Queen has been discreet about these sorts of things. And of course, she will have private conversations with politicians but they will never reveal what happened.
“And Mark Drakeford has just come straight out and told you what King Charles has been discussing.
“I mean, I guess it’s not surprising that King Charles is worried about how people were going to get through the winter – everyone else is – but for the First Minister of Wales to come out and say this makes it look like a political intervention by the King.
“Now whether he’s been sanctioned to do that, I don’t know I doubt it because we certainly never saw that under Queen Elizabeth.”
“I don’t know what the Welsh is for faux pas but you’re not supposed to reveal these private conversations.”
— The News Desk (@TheNewsDesk) September 16, 2022
The First Minister said the King also told him he was interested in renewable energy generation in Wales, and how it might play a “bigger part” in future energy security.
Mr Drakeford told TalkTV: “The King has always had a very direct interest in the things that are happening in contemporary Wales, the future of our agriculture, the impact of climate change.
“He mentioned the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and how that will impact on people here in Wales.”
Mark Drakeford added: “He (Charles) is concerned as to how people will manage through what is going to be a difficult winter.
“He was interested to tell me about some of the projects that he has heard of, or become involved in dealing, for example, with food waste, making sure that we don’t waste a precious resource when some people might be going without.
“Interested, as always in renewable energy generation here in Wales, and how it might play a bigger part in future energy security.”
Almost half of UK adults who pay energy bills have said they are struggling to afford them, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics revealed that 48% of adults said they were finding it “very or somewhat difficult” to afford their energy costs in a survey between August 31 and September 11.
It represents an increase on a fortnight earlier when 45% said they were struggling with energy bills.
However, households have been promised support by Liz Truss’s new Government due to the soaring cost of energy since the start of the survey period.
The new Government said it will cap energy bills at £2,500 from October, including a £400 rebate which will be paid in six instalments.
It came after industry regulator Ofgem had originally said average bills were due to rise by 80% to £3,549.
Households had already seen their energy costs surge by 54% after the price cap for an average home increased to £1,971 in April.
The fortnightly ONS cost-of-living survey also revealed an increase in concerns from consumers over their regular spending.
It showed that 82% of adults reported “being very or somewhat worried about rising costs of living” in the past two weeks, edging up from 81% a fortnight earlier.
It compared with 74% when households were first asked the question in May.
Around a quarter of adults – 26% – also said they are unable to save as much as usual, when asked about the current state of their household finances.
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