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Mark Drakeford ‘thought UK Government’s handling of pandemic threatened union’

07 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford believed the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was a threat to the future of the union, an inquiry has been told.

Jane Runeckles, the Welsh First Minister’s most senior adviser, told the UK Covid-19 Inquiry that it was felt that the actions of Boris Johnson’s government could lead to a breakdown of the UK.

Speaking at the inquiry on Thursday, the senior special advisor said: “I believe that the First Minister had a genuine, sincerely held concern that some of the actions of the UK government in relation to the way they had handled some of the earlier period was a genuine threat to the future of the UK.”

Infrequent

Contact between Mr Johnson and Mr Drakeford was described as “infrequent”, which led to divergence in policy between the four nations of the UK.

Mr Johnson said in previous evidence to the inquiry that he had deliberately not met the first ministers of the devolved nations to avoid giving the impression that the UK was a federalised country.

Ms Runeckles said: “The tensions between the actions taken by the Welsh government and the actions taken by the UK government became more and more obvious, and once we reached the point through the beginning of May, the fact that the Welsh government were taking decisions in a different way to the UK government just meant that there was very little for us to talk about.”

She said she and Mr Drakeford initially felt that a four-nation approach was preferable.

Poor communication

However, she said the UK government’s communication was poor, particularly surrounding Civil Contingencies Committee (Cobra) meetings, with agendas sometimes not published until 10 to 15 minutes before they began, and described the contact between the authorities as “sporadic”.

The inquiry also heard that Mr Drakeford had been “shocked” that a testing centre had been set up in Wales without the Welsh government or Public Health Wales being informed.


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

You don’t mean the same Boris that ran off to a party attended by ex KGB right aftre briefing NATO on a chemical weapons attack on the UK? Same Boris lied to his wife and a nation? Not the same Boris that cheated on his wife? The same Boris that ran away after trying to defend Pincher and Patterson? Same Boris that spiked the Russian report and put Lebedev in the HOC? The same Boris that tried to put Dacre (daily mail) in at the top of OFCOM? The same Boris that preferred paid for holidays on sunny islands? the… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

He also ran and hid in a fridge to avoid speaking to a reporter, shook hands with known carriers of COVID, offered to have COVID injected into himself live on TV, lied about parties while the country followed lockdown rules.

The man was the least fit to ever be prime minister and is a national/international embarrassment!

I think he put Lebedev into the HoL.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Davies
Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

Nothing new in Johnson’s behaviour … more crude and populist than your usual Tory fare but all the same prejudices and arrogance. And why the surprise over Westminster imposing something on Wales? Exactly what has been going on consistently for eons. But Drakeford and others like him in Labour never break out of the snare of their own dogma. They invoke collectivism as evidence of the UK’s progressive credentials. But this is a category error. The Union is not collectivist. It is Imperialist … and Labour is wedded to that imperialism. And that’s what makes the Unionism of Welsh Labour… Read more »

Keith whitehouse
Keith whitehouse
1 month ago

Drakeford the man single handly ruin wales

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago

Let’s not give him ALL the credit. Lee and the rest of Welsh labour had a hand in it all as well.
With any luck the habitual voters might see sense during this election but don’t hold much hope.

Thatcher is dead, Welsh labour will cause far more job losses with their insane policies, to quote Starmer (ironically enough) “we need change now”!

Stuart
Stuart
1 month ago

DON’T VOTE LABOUR

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago

No he didn’t, its plainly obvious he was on a power trip and relishing the spotlight. Each and every opportunity he had, he had to do everything different to England, despite limited at best evidence to support it. And how can he say children’s clothes and tin openers are not essential daily items, amongst other glaring blunders. Still to this day he goes as far as his powers will allow to be different with little forsight and no say or benefit for the tax payer. And if he and his colleagues were so brilliant why won’t he allow a Wales… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
1 month ago

Anything from Drakeford regarding democracy cannot be taken seriously. Remember Drakeford wouldn’t answer questions properly and democratically put to him about his actions as 1st minister by the official opposition. Drakeford seems to think the Political strategy of China is more appropriate for himself.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

I’d rather have Prof. Drakeford over any tory any day!

Roger Horton
Roger Horton
30 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Loony left.

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