Plaid Cymru accuse Welsh Government of ‘hiding in the shadows’ over Covid scrutiny
Plaid Cymru have accused the Welsh Government of “hiding in the shadows” as the UK Covid inquiry progresses.
The party have expressed fears that “so few people are speaking for Wales” and says it is concerned that the Welsh Government will not be subject to the “scrutiny being levelled at other governments” across the UK.
Both the Scottish and UK Governments have been in the news recently over the release of WhatsApp messages relating to their handling of the Covid pandemic, but similar focus has not been brought on to the Labour Welsh Government.
In the latest revelations today, the Government’s former chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance described a “bonkers set of exchanges” and noted that Boris Johnson appeared “obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life and the economy going” during the pandemic.
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Mabon ap Gwynfor, recently wrote to the First Minister to express concern over “how few core participants from Wales” are taking part in the module that’s specifically scrutinising the Welsh Government’s preparedness for the pandemic.
The chair of the UK Covid inquiry has already admitted that investigation “can’t cover every issue” relating to Wales.
Plaid Cymru has called for a Wales-specific covid inquiry because “decisions taken in Wales should be scrutinised in Wales.”
Hiding in shadows
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said: “As the focus is rightly brought again on to government preparedness for the Covid pandemic, what’s equally clear is the very real possibility that Wales will not be subject to the same levels of scrutiny.
“This is no less apparent than with a spotlight on WhatsApps from both Scottish and UK Government, while the Welsh Government manages to hide in the shadows in terms of what messages it may or may not have sent during the same time.
“This matters because we already know from the Chair of the UK Covid Inquiry that the investigation ‘can’t cover every issue’ relating to Wales.
“This matters because of how few core participants from Wales are taking part in Module 2 – that’s the module scrutinising the Welsh Government’s preparedness for the pandemic. “And this matters because only a full and thorough inquiry will provide the answers and the closure that the people of Wales so desperately need and deserve.”
Mr ap Gwenfor added: “Plaid Cymru does not have faith in the UK inquiry as the most effective and comprehensive vehicle for scrutinising the pandemic response in Wales.
“Decisions taken in Wales should be scrutinised in Wales. That is why I have written to the First Minister to ascertain what support Welsh Government has given to Welsh organisations in applying to be Core Participants in the UK Inquiry.
“With so few people speaking for Wales, the very real possibly remains that the Welsh voice will not be heard in this UK inquiry, and the Welsh Government will continue to dodge the scrutiny being levelled at other governments across the UK.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats and Welsh Conservatives have also called for a Welsh specific Covid inquiry to be held; however, the Welsh Government has argued that a UK-wide inquiry is the best way to examine decisions made in the four UK nations.
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