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Sunday Times declares Mark Drakeford ‘comfortably the most popular UK leader’

16 Jan 2022 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Sunday Times newspaper hs declared the First Minister “comfortably the most popular UK leader” due to his handling of the Covid pandemic.

Pointing to his approval polls and public support in Wales, the newspaper said that Mark Drakeford’s “nurse-knows-best approach” seems to have won over the public, giving him a higher approval than Boris Johnson or Nicola Sturgeon.

Meanwhile, in the marginal constituencies that the Conservatives won in 2019, “Johnson is toxic here and it takes a long while to find anyone with a good word to say about his government”.

The article was written by the newspaper’s Washington correspondent Josh Glancy, who declare that due to Mark Drakeford’s differing approach to handling the pandemic “the Welsh border, which has been mostly ignored since the two nations were unified under Henry VIII in 1536, has begun to matter again”.

Wales has generally imposed harsher lockdown rules then England throughout the pandemic, including a five mile ‘stay local’ rule during the first lockdown. The First Minister also decided to introduce new rules on outside sports and hospitality over the New Year, while England did not.

Those rules are due to be relaxed over the next two weeks, with crowds at elite sports such as the Six Nations returning next Friday.

But the Sunday Times also warns that Drakeford, a “cricket-loving, clarinet-playing academic” may also be “playing with fire”.

“His emphasis has been on ‘following the science’, which he has accused Johnson of blithely ignoring. With some recent restrictions, however, there is also a sense that he is playing the populist, feeding anti-English, anti-Tory, anti-Boris sentiment in a way that could imperil the union between the two countries,” the article says.

“Certainly the question of devolution, which has been an uncertain one in the minds of many older Welsh voters since a referendum supported it by a narrow margin in 1997, now appears settled.

“Welsh language use has soared, with the government’s ‘one million speakers by 2050’ goal looking well within reach, and there is growing confidence in the future, despite the country’s economic difficulties.”


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Dai jones
Dai jones
4 months ago

The tory trolls i. wales are not going to like that!

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
4 months ago

The difference between Drakford ànd Boris .He his seen has being honest in his way of running Wales with his limited power’s and the labour party in Wales have not been given contracts to they’re mates

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago

Boris Johnsons disrespect to people in England has really vindicated Drakeford’s approach to the pandemic. The tory unionists can’t say a thing to criticise him anymore on this matter when their whole party including their quisling Welsh branch have been caught out breaking the law while we all missed christmases, didn’t see family and friends for months, had people in hospital etc. How can anyone believe them anymore? If they want to implement any more lockdowns, they are screwed because no-one in England will listen to them ever again.Meanwhile here, we have a leader that follows the science, sticks to… Read more »

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
4 months ago

Mark Drakeford will answer a question directly and not hide behind some preprepared statement. I think he is to be admired.

Popsie
4 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Here in Wales – prepared questions.

Andrew Robinson- Redman
Andrew Robinson- Redman
4 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Eventually!!!

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
4 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Tiny Tim. I recommend that you go back to bed.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
4 months ago

“feeding anti-English, anti-Tory, anti-Boris sentiment in a way that could imperil the union between the two countries,”

I think you’ll find that Davies, Cairns and Hart are already doing that with their lickspittle toadying to Westminster over the place they are elected to represent.

Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

With every snipe, with every barb and and dogma-turd they throw, the Tories in Wales are doing more for Welsh indepenence than Plaid and Yes.Cymru combined.
Keep it up I say.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

And the reason all will lose their seats the next Senedd elections if there’s any justice. Andrew RT Davies ,Alun Cairns & Simon Hart are thorns in Wales side. And with any foreign objects tend to fester unless removed. But let’s hope like any septic lump (s) relief comes naturally when they burst. They serve no positive purpose in Wales. Never have. All they do is criticise and talk Wales down continually. Blindly agree with Tory HQ when it comes to cynically singling out Wales for special treatment when it comes to denying only our Senedd Cymru further devolution where… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Gwyn Williams
Gwyn Williams
4 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

In my opinion it’s the Tory and the right wing unionist trolls that are fuelling anti-Welsh, anti-devolution, anti Labour, anti Plaid and anti Drakeford sentiments that are imperialism the “union” between the two countries.

Jack
Jack
4 months ago

I think this probably says a lot about the state of politicians across the UK right now.

Drakeford has made some terrible decisions in his Covid response, but he’s probably done the best job of dealing with Covid of all the leaders.

George
George
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

The Times want to give Sturgeon credit less than they want to give Drakeford credit but Scotland have clearly, at least in terms of data we have so far, led the way with covid response.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Terrible decisions such as?

Jack
Jack
4 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Not introducing a mask mandate September 2020.
Not taking decisive action at the start of the pandemic (even though Scotland had already done it so devolved nations did have the power at the time)
Completely removing all restrictions in November 2020 after the firebreak lockdown, meaning we had a totally out of control case rate in the run up to Christmas that year.

There’s plenty they’ve got right, but they’re not perfect.

Dewi Williams
Dewi Williams
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Very plausible decisions but easy to make when on the side-lines. No accompanying responsibility, no pressures from the data proffered by the scientists and medical experts. No political hostility from the hospitality lobby and kindred lobbyists. Despite this temporary generosity Mark was still banned from 100 pubs. I’m sure Mark would have loved the luxury to make these plausible decisions from the side-lines. However, thank goodness he is made of sterner stuff.

Richard
Richard
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Hindsight is a great gift my friend…..Mark is definitely the man for the moment and has done the right thing – if not always the popular thing.

Communication – or lack of it – perhaps 🤔 has been the only main fault.

The Labour Party in Wales has always been more comfortable using ‘ usual ‘ channels and trusted networks of people it knows.

I hope any enquiry will offer advice on how better to reach business, community and sporting stakeholders who are not within this trusted circle ⭕️

Last edited 4 months ago by Richard
George
George
4 months ago

“”feeding anti-English, anti-Tory, anti-Boris sentiment in a way that could imperil the union between the two countries,” the article says.”” This sentiment is a tiny minority – vast majority are opposed to how Westminster has been run and, let’s be honest, with the Telegraph now turning on Boris with monarchy based attacks on his government that’s not a sentiment limited to Wales (or Scotland). One could predict that Bradford, recently screwed out of rail improvements, are on the verge of going further than Drakeford’s pro-devolution stance and calling for Bradford independence…or at least they should be. And why is it… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  George

There are discusions ongoing about Yorkshire independence and it makes sense. After all with a population of 5.5m in 2020 compared to 3.2m in Wales they could hardly be described as a ‘minor’ player.

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter Cuthbert
Grayham Jones
4 months ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

arthur owen
4 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

We know that this your response Grayham,could you take our knowledge for granted?

Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Still not quite mastered the shift yet then Graham? Only 25% 🙁

Richard
Richard
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

We are blessed to have Grayham as a compass and his thoughts however often repeated and singular create a great balance to the two or three regular and occasionally anonymised commentators who advocate for their unionist masters 😗

Richard
Richard
4 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Your such a hero of mine Grayham – you know where you are – you know what you want and you know where your heading 😇

Dewi Williams
Dewi Williams
4 months ago

Unusual for an establishment newspaper to give Wales such attention with largely a positive tone. This is a ringing endorsement for having a decent, honest man in charge who is not interested in power grabbing and the trappings of power which it normally brings to a Head of State. These characteristics are the key differences between Boris and Mark Drakeford. Mark has these qualities in abundance and endeavours to use his office to genuinely promote the well-being and prosperity of his people for comparatively little wealth enhancement. In contrast and from experience, we have seen that Boris is politically corrupt… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Dewi Williams

Yes, I don’t think ‘anti-English’ would fit with his persona. Given his back ground as an academic and a senior one at that, I suspect we really ought to be calling him Dr Drakeford. I have not been able to find out if he does have a PhD, but I feel it is very likely and that he does not use his title as he probably feels it would ‘distance’ him from the sort of people he tries to represent. Anybody know for sure?

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
4 months ago

Head & shoulders the best leader in Cymru!!

Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Well, a short head above Price but a giraffe’s neck above Whatshisname.

Richard
Richard
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Not a huge field to chose from Dai but very much the ‘ man for the moment ‘ as they used to say

Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago

I think it’s his total lack of spin, bluster and lies.
No sense of privilage, just a sense of public service.
So refreshing, so rare.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

You hit the nail on the head there. He treats us like human beings because he came from a normal background and worked his way up to FM instead of getting everything on a plate.

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago

They are all running below par, but Boris is so abysmal he makes all the others look brilliant. Drakeford on Covid was above par until recently getting his restrictions the wrong way round. Otherwise good. However he shares with the idiots in London and Edinburgh an unhealthy obsession with delivery of green energy solutions by giving huge handouts to corporates that don’t need them ! A seriously lopsided view of where the real need lies. They will all get found out if this green levy doesn’t get removed and pressure on consumers relaxed. I would go so far as to… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Yes, keep your boots on the floor, guys.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago

I’d say the best Government leader in my lifetime since Attlee. Really honest, and has the tories absolutely tied up in knots. They are inherently dishonest, and don’t know how to deal with trustworthiness! So many of us endured 40 plus years of ultra right wing leadership in Britain. You end up feeling no allegiance whatsoever to leaders always making decisions you cannot agree with. Whether it is the greed, selfishness, the corruption, the lies, the racism, the war driven policies. Enough is enough. Wales is not England, and people who dont like it may like to find somewhere else… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

The most popular leader that gets the least airtime. Just look at the Covid announcements where Sturgeon gets network coverage and Drakeford regionalised.

I can recall the London-centric media claim how Sadiq Khan was the highest profile Labour figure in government forgetting Mark Drakeford led a country.

But I agree this will grate with the Tories as they want Wales & devolution to fail, and with any success stories in Wales want to claim them as their own whilst overlooking the vast failures they were & are party too.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago

There’s no ifs or buts, we will be better off completely independent. We must build a more prosperous future for ourselves because our children deserve far more than what the Union offers.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
4 months ago

The bars not that high……and who did they ask…?

HywelE3
HywelE3
4 months ago

This is all well and dandy, but how to get the message out to the 1.5 million Cymry who vote in General Elections who will eventually be asked whether or not to agree to independence – in the face of the vicious storm of English media manipulation?

aled jones
aled jones
4 months ago

‘ there is growing confidence in the future’. So he’s not *really* ‘playing with fire’, by ‘following the science’, then, is he?

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago

it would seem that you’re in the minority, young mister me friend! People in Wales cross over the road to shake hands with Mark Drakeford. As for your Boris – well, the man’s a complete oaf – who bases himself on Churchill, another oaf. If you don’t like the Welsh government’s approach, then, as they say – there’s the gate ! All one hundred and seventy seven miles of it !

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
4 months ago

I wonder how many people are walking the streets in Wales that would have been 6ft under ground if he had not stoped the super spreader of boxing day sport look at the deaths in England to compare with Wales even when comparing the difference in population

TinyTim
TinyTim
4 months ago

Blood is on fakefords hands. I wonder if Johnson can recall fakefords first call at the start of the pandemics…please sir can we use your hospital …owning to Wales not having a single quarantined hospital bed available . He is truly a leader of the red wave, the red however being from the lanced boil of filth we call Cardiff.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
4 months ago
Reply to  TinyTim

Can I be there to watch what happens to you when you walk up to a Cardiffian and tell him his city is a lanced boil of filth?

Jeff33
Jeff33
4 months ago

Walesonline in meltdown.

Grant
Grant
4 months ago

Could you imagine mark drackford running England.. . We would still be in lockdown and getting no where and wearing mask until 2030. Thank god Boris has get up and go in him ……
Sleeply old Drake forord is right for Wales .it’s just what the Welsh like.
No change… .

Wendy Moreton
Wendy Moreton
4 months ago

Mark Drakeford always speaks sense in an eloquent and unwavering manner. No waffling from this man. 👏👏👏

Alayne Perrott
Alayne Perrott
4 months ago

Drakeford CARES and it shows.

mike
mike
3 months ago

Utter tripe.

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