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.”
— 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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