Mark Drakeford says he regrets blowing his top in Senedd showdown with Tory leader
The First Minister has said that he regrets getting angry during First Minister’s Questions earlier this month, in a clip that later went viral on the internet.
His comments come after Mark Drakeford and the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, clashed in emotional scenes at the Senedd two weeks ago.
Mark Drakeford’s voice trembled with emotion as he erupted at Andrew RT Davies over his criticism of the Welsh NHS, in a clip watched by millions online, after the latter quoted a constituent who called the Welsh NHS “a Third World service”.
But Mark Drakeford told the i newspaper that he felt angry with himself for losing his cool during the encounter.
“I was cross with myself,” he said.
“You should not lose your temper, you should not allow yourself to be provoked. I left the chamber angry at myself.
“I was thinking this is not a good look for how we conduct politics in Wales.
“But by the time I got home people were saying, ‘Thank goodness you said it, it was about time.’ It did strike a chord.”
I have *never* seen the First Minister of Wales this angry. Ever. https://t.co/wkcEQIVbU6 pic.twitter.com/qfVFZIvZbW
— Owen Williams 🏴 (@OwsWills) October 18, 2022
The outburst was met with both praise and condemnation, with some saying he was right to be angry at the UK Government’s economic mismanagement over the mini-budget, and others saying he had a ‘tantrum’.
Tom Harris, who was Labour minister but now works for the UK Government’s Scotland Office, wrote in the Telegraph that the First Minister had been angry because he could not defend his own record on the NHS.
“When their policies are questioned, we see a spectacle of frothing, self-righteous disdain, as happened this week in the Senedd,” he said.
Writing for Nation.Cymru however Theo Davies-Lewis said that Mark Drakeford’s anger “spoke for all of us”.
“Sometimes, at times of crisis, it takes someone to let their guard down to express what they truly feel,” he said.
“In that way, Drakeford played a bigger role today than most of his policies.”
However, Mark Drakeford admitted to the i newspaper that some criticism of the Welsh NHS was justified.
“I don’t deny there are people who don’t get the service they deserve,” he said.
“But to call the Welsh NHS a Third-World service was just such an insult to people who work so hard in itm that I just couldn’t react to it in my generally calm way.”
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Mark Drakeford did us proud with his emotional outburst. It showed up the Tories for the filthy below the belt punchers they are. What business do they have criticising him given the snarling their party get up to in Westminster? They are not fit to share the chamber the man. He is Mark. His detractors are no marks.
With the man.
Never apologise for being right. Your indignation at the Tory hypocrite was well deserved.
NEVER apologise to lesser men for addressing them as they deserve.
You may be a Unionist. But you are Welsh. We don’t kneel and we don’t follow their twisted Victorian version of manners.
Pure poetry beautifully written and you made me think. Perhaps it’s not another planet they are from, just another time.
Good. Will he now go on to apologise for agreeing to visit Qatar ? Will he apologise for resisting the evident need for a Wales specific Covid enquiry ? That should be enough to be getting on with, but if he develops an appetite for a spot of humility and remorse he can apologise for banging on about the UK being some kind of sound insurance policy.
He’s certainly at odds with Starmer on Qatar and I’m not sure what his problem is with a Wales specific Covid inquiry. He must stop the UK insurance policy nonsense. It’s as good as null and void but what I really want him to do is go to COP 27 in Egypt with Nicola Sturgeon to heap embarrassment on Sunak. That will see two properly democratically elected leaders alongside all the other properly democratically elected leaders in the photo. What fun!
That pompous Tory would try the patience of a saint!
The man did right and stood up to the bully tory slimeball……and I don’t even vote labour, lol.
The reason he gives for losing his rag with Artie D. shows that the FM’s anger was justified. But he’s right that such an emotional outburst is at variance with the civilised behaviour of the Senedd compared with what masquerades as debate in the English parliament. I’ve only seen one previous such outburst in the Senedd on the telly, from the late Mohammad Ashgar, which earned him a slapped wrist from the Llwydd. Mohammad spoke out of turn, Drakeford simply said what most people have been thinking.
Drakeford’s spittle-flecked outburst betrays his deeper fear, the thing that has him awakening to a cold sweat and the shivers: his fear that people will realise at some point that the buck finally does rest with Wales on things like the NHS and on the way the Welsh Government handled the Covid-19 pandemic. He likes to bat things back down the M4 whenever he needs to, in order to slip past the public verdict. But that can only work so many times before the penny finally drops with a gullible public growing wiser. Sure, Wales is hampered by the purse… Read more »