Plaid Cymru presses First Minister over plans to set up Covid-19 committee
Plaid Cymru has written to First Minister Mark Drakeford to request an urgent update on the government’s position over forming a Covid-19 Special Purpose Committee.
The calls come four months after the First Minister first indicated his intention of forming a committee which might address any gaps identified in relation to Wales in terms of the scope and focus of the UK Covid Inquiry.
The letter, which has been signed by both Leader Adam Price MS and the party’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, notes the “clear inconsistency” of the Welsh Government approach, in “asserting their right to ‘do things differently’ in terms of policy choices in Wales on the one hand, while claiming that a generalised UK inquiry into the consequences of those choices is sufficient on the other”.
Adam Price MS said: “The Welsh Government – quite rightly – utilised the devolved levers at their disposal to adopt a tailored response to the pandemic.
“The more cautious and evidence-based approach here in Wales was in stark contrast to the bumbling inconsistencies of a UK Government that we now know was more interested in lockdown-breaking partying than keeping people safe.
“But asserting the right to ‘do things differently’ here in Wales is completely at odds with the Welsh Government’s current refusal to be subject to open and transparent accountability.
“The Scottish Government recognised this early on and acted decisively to establish a Scottish Inquiry. Given that Scotland’s devolved competence over health is essentially identical to ours, this continued refusal by the Welsh Government to commit immediately to proper accountability risks undermining the credibility of devolution.”
Mark Drakeford had indicated his willingness to establish a committee after a joint Opposition motion to establish a Wales Covid Inquiry Special Purpose Committee inquiry was voted down by the Labour Group in the Senedd at the end of last year.
At the time, Plaid Cymru says the First Minister stated in the Chamber that he intended to bring forward a motion in Government time setting out proposal on how such a Committee might address any gaps identified in relation to Wales in terms of the focus of the UK Inquiry.
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