Tory MPs put boot into ‘authoritarian’ Drakeford and Sturgeon after no new restrictions announced in England
Conservative MPs and Senedd Members have gone on the attack against the Welsh and Scottish governments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that there would be no new restrictions in England due to the Omicron variant.
Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon have already introduced new rules on hospitality and attendance at sports matches, saying that they were taking pre-emptive action to stop the NHS being overwhelmed in the new year.
In Wales, nightclubs have been closed, table service is required in pubs and restaurants, and a maximum of six people can sit together at hospitality venues. In Scotland, indoor events have been limited to 100 people standing or 200 people seated, and groups meeting inside must be limited to three households.
But the Conservative Party said that the data did not justify taking further measures yet and said that the Labour government in Wales and the SNP in Scotland had over-reacted to the threat.
Backbench MP Andrew Bridgen who has been campaigning against new Covid restrictions said that “Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford have let Scotland and Wales down badly and shown their true authoritarian nature.
“It’s time for the Government in Westminster to lead, no more Covid restrictions. It’s official that Omicron is mild,” he said.
Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton, said that Labour had hung Mark Drakeford out to dry after saying that Boris Johnson was right not to bring in any new restrictions to tackle Covid.
She pointed to the reaction of Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting who said that people in England would be “relieved” that no new restrictions were being introduced, although he called for the data that formed the basis of the decision to be maned public.
Alicia Kearns said: “Seems Labour suddenly agrees that Government is right not to bring in restrictions (despite having called for weeks now for unspecified restrictions despite no data) then what does that say about Mark Drakeford in Labour-led Wales?” she said.
“Is Labour playing politics in England or Wales?”
Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswitch added that no new restrictions was the “correct decision” and again criticised Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon.
“I really hope we’re approaching the point where we can permanently turn our backs on the kind of illiberal and draconian rules that are now in place in Scotland and Wales,” he said.
“If the Scottish and Welsh Governments want to introduce new restrictions that cause significant economic harm that’s their right. However, they should be prepared to front up to their own electorates and explain how they’re going to pay for it.”
In Wales, Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones said that it was “welcome news” that there would be no new restrictions in England, which sits on the border with her constituency.
“I’ve been inundated with messages from worried businesses in Brecon and Radnorshire, particularly for those who have competitors across the border. We really must see the evidence,” she said.
Wales’ Conservative Senedd Members also called for stricter restrictions in Wales to be dropped following the decision not to go ahead with them in England.
James Evans, the Senedd Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, said that the Welsh Government “has yet to provide any scientific evidence to back up their new restrictions”.
“The people of Wales are seeing through Mark Drakeford and are furious he is playing politics with their lives,” he said.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies added that no new restrictions were “good news for families and businesses in England”.
“Once again, this reinforces the need for Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay to urgently publish the scientific evidence and advice behind its recent decisions,” he said.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.