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‘Shocking’: Drakeford slams Simon Hart’s comments saying Wales shouldn’t have been allowed to handle Covid

04 Mar 2022 4 minute read
Simon Hart photo by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Mark Drakeford (right) Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The First Minister has described Wesh Secretary Simon Hart’s comments saying that Wales shouldn’t have been allowed to handle the Covid pandemic as “shocking” at a pandemic press conference this afternoon.

Simon Hart had said yesterday on Times Radio that he wished Wales hadn’t been allowed to make its own rules on the pandemic separately from England, saying that “it would have been easier to administer”.

Mark Drakeford said that “continual raids” on the powers of Wales was not the way to make the people of the country feel like a respected part of the United Kingdom.

“I think it’s just important for me to say that level of responsibility that we had in Wales to make decisions was the level of responsibility that the cabinet to which the Secretary of State of Wales belonged and decided we should have at the outset,” Mark Drakeford said.

“It was the UK Government who made the original decisions about where responsibilities should lie. And I think it’s shocking that he [Simon Hart] should feel no responsibility at all for the decision of which he was apart.

“Now, the broader history of the Johnson government has been of, you know, muscular unionism, one in which the powers and financial resources available to devolve governments have been under attack.

“I think that is bad for the United Kingdom. I’ve said this many times. I’ve said it directly to UK ministers.

“The Welsh Government believes that Wales is better off in the United Kingdom and that the United Kingdom is better off for having Wales in it.

“But we need respectful relationships, but recognise that the powers of the Senedd were confirmed in two referendums by people in Wales, and that continual raids on the powers and the responsibilities of the Senedd is not the way in which to persuade people that the United Kingdom is a deal that they are keen to sign up to.

“There’s a better future for the United Kingdom for that, and I hope that the UK Government will begin to realise that and to act accordingly.”

‘Easier’

In an interview with Times Radio yesterday, Simon Hart said that he would have preferred it if “we could have approached all of the Covid reactions and interventions as one UK”.

The Tory MP made the suggestion after being asked about the comments of Baron Frost, who sits in the House of Lords, who claimed that the pandemic had shown that it was “nonsense” having different rules in different parts of the UK.

Writing in the Telegraph, Frost said that the step was necessary to “save Boris, the Conservative Party and the country”.

A recent opinion poll showed that 60% of people in Wales preferred the Welsh Government’s approach to tackling the pandemic.

The YouGov survey also suggested that 17% of people in Wales preferred the approach to tackling the pandemic taken in England  by the UK Government, while 10% said they don’t know and 13% said neither.

During an interview with Simon Hart, Times Radio broadcaster Matt Chorley said: “On the subject of Covid, your former Cabinet colleague Lord Frost, said it was nonsense for Wales to have its own Covid rules. Do you agree with him?”

Simon Hart replied: “I must say that I wish that we could have approached all of the Covid reactions and interventions as one UK. I think it would have been easier to communicate that to the population. I think it would have been easier to administer.

“We would have got a greater degree of public understanding and compliance for longer, and the real truth is, and sometimes people do say well ‘you know didn’t Welsh Government handle it rather better? Weren’t the outcomes rather better?’.

“The reality is if you look at all of the measurements of success or failure, whatever they might be in Covid, actually there was precious little difference between England and Wales.”


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22 Comments
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Cynan
Cynan
8 months ago

Simian Hart is the living embodiment of an orc

Gareth
Gareth
8 months ago

Hart, yet again exposes his ignorance, and shows how dim witted he is when opening his mouth, allowing Mark Drakeford to make a fool of him, in public. After showing his ignorance of the Barnet formula, he now moans about the powers used in the Senedd, that he was a party to allowing. The man is a clown.

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
8 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

A more complete clown than bojo?

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
8 months ago
Reply to  Kenneth Vivian

Have to think about that?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 months ago

So when is Drakeford going to grow some balls and stop cucking for the English establishment?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 months ago

You were about 10% more likely to die of Covid in England than in Wales so what Hart is telling his constituents is that not enough of them are dead. interesting.

Dewi Williamswhat
Dewi Williamswhat
8 months ago

To sincerely represent Wales an essential ingredient is to have a “feeling” for Wales. This is absence in Hart’s case maybe due to the fact it is not naturally in his DNA. The mystery is however, he must be savvy enough to know that his persistent indifference to the advancement of Welsh interests is equivalent to pressing the self-destruct button in terms of re-election. Does he after all have a redeeming feature? i.e. he cannot hide it or lie about it because in contrast to his beloved leader there exists a shred of honesty perhaps in his character?

Malcolmrj
Malcolmrj
8 months ago

Don’t think so what he’s doing is building up Browni points if he gets enough Browni points and points mean prizes and the prize May be the House of LORDS

Phil
Phil
8 months ago

Let’s be fair. Hart has little or nothing to do but sit at a desk and shuffle papers and occasionally count paper clips, so he’s decided to say something silly to brighten up his otherwise rather dull life.

George
George
8 months ago

“”In an interview with Times Radio yesterday, Simon Hart said that he would have preferred it if “we could have approached all of the Covid reactions and interventions as one UK””. Any interview hearing that and not asking what it means isn’t much of an interview. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (infinitely more complex due to border with Ireland) have largely been more cautious and more closely following the science, Scotland’s approach has generally (in terms of virus) worked best. At what point is Westminster becoming more cautious or is it just about pushing a more Tory (read: backbench Tory with hard-ons… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago

There are 2 reasons why Simon Hart believes the democratically elected representatives of Wales should have been banned from making covid related decisions. Firstly he is a British nationalist who (in a much milder way than the man in the Kremlin) exhibits his nationalism by believing that Wales and England are one people and all decisions must be made in the British capital. Secondly if all decisions had been made by the UK Gov during the pandemic he would now be telling us that the people of Wales were unable to deal with any aspect of the Covid pandemic on… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

What’s more whether he likes it or not powers over health are devolved, supported by two referendums and part of the British Constitution. For a Minister who is at the Cabinet table to defend the law and constitution to express these opinions should in a normal government result on his sacking.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
8 months ago

Typical arrogant, ignorant tory; Hart should be supporting Wales, not brown-nosing his lords and masters, the Westminster government.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

Perhaps Simon mighr move that thought forward to whether we need a ‘ Welsh ‘ Secretary?

Malcolmrj
Malcolmrj
8 months ago

From what I can see of Simon Heart he hates Wales for some reason i don’t know what and also he comes over has thick as Sh””t

Richard
Richard
8 months ago
Reply to  Malcolmrj

SH has always been a fair guy not on the extreme at all.

Apart from some 18th Centuary views on animal hunting he was never seen as an ideologue.

It is so sad for many of us to see him being ‘ turned ‘ by this extreme anti Senedd cabal that appears to be ‘running ‘ things currently.

The likes of Susi Davies, Glyn Davies plus David Melding and Johnathan Evans etc must really find this return to ‘ the nasty party ‘ very concerning.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard

With due respect. I do not recognise the man you describe. All WS Simon Hart has ever done for Wales is to criticise and stab us in the back.

And when WOM David Davies MP for Monmouth proudly stated recently how Wales should not receive one penny of HS2 consequential, he agreed.

The Tories in the Senedd and at Westminster are cheerleaders to our downfall. They are Anti-Welsh, Anti-Wales and Anti- devolution. They are a political cancer cell that Wales must purge.

Last edited 8 months ago by Y Cymro
Richard
Richard
8 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I recognise your thoughts and views and share your well expressed deeply held concerns for our nation with these people. After 33 years in elected governance and having faced ( and beaten ) them at every election 🗳 at three levels of Council i hope you will forgive me adding that each party contains a surprising high mix of views – and my note 📝 was a concern at the direction SH was taking since his almost sacking by BJ. David D has always openly displayed in his unusual style his view on Wales. SH however now seems to unfortunately… Read more »

Ann
Ann
8 months ago

We need to keep reminding Hart and others that the regulations started a a 4 nations approach and it was England which was the first to deviate from that without any cross border discussions!

Quornby
Quornby
8 months ago

They will never ever show respect…. For the Lord’s sake Mark…. Just how much more of this colonial cr*p must we stomach before Labour declares for independence? ³

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago

Antagonist Simon Hart does not represent Wales as Welsh Secretary, oh no, he’s there soley to attack and verbally bomb like one of Putin’s henchmen. To force a political gun to our temple threatening to pull the trigger unless we follow his & Whitehall’s orders. Never! I embrace Welsh democracy, political freedom, not a Unionist knife to our throats.. We in Wales were fortunate not to have had our Covid rules & regulations devised by the corrupt Conservatives in London. The very same who wasted £37 billion on failed Covid track & trace system, who lost billions more with unsuitable… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Y Cymro
Grayham Jones
8 months ago

The people who voted for this idiot should be ashamed of themselves kick I’m out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and all English party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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