Tory MS denies UK Gov is ‘incapable of operating properly’ amid partygate turmoil
A Tory MS has denied that the UK Government is “incapable of operating properly”, amid partygate turmoil.
Darren Millar, the Conservative Senedd member for Clwyd West, has defended Boris Johnson’s beleaguered administration after criticism from the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The UK Prime Minister has faced calls to resign following reports reports of boozy parties being held in Downing Street during lockdown, a defection of an MP from the Conservatives to Labour, and allegations that Tory MPs have been “blackmailed” into dropping their opposition to UK Government policies.
During a debate in the Senedd, Millar pointed to the publication of a report on intergovernmental relations as evidence of the UK Government “operating properly”.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford replied by suggesting that in the “privacy of his own committee rooms” that Millar “himself would recognise that this is not a good time for the UK Government”
He said that the “ability” of the Tory administration” to live up to the ambitions” in the report of the has “inevitably” been “compromised by the events”, adding that it has “turned in on itself in order to try to find a way through the mess of its own making.”
Darren Millar said: “Of course, the UK Government, First Minister, has delivered a world-beating vaccination programme that has been of great benefit to people across Wales, and it’s also released significant resources across the country to help businesses and individuals overcome the challenges of the pandemic.
“And in spite of your assertion that it’s incapable of operating properly, it actually released the report on the review of inter-governmental relations last week.
“As you said in your initial answer to the Member for Clwyd South, you welcomed warmly the publication of that report, because of course it will change the working arrangements between governments across the UK and hopefully will deliver significant improvements for people living and working across the whole of the United Kingdom.
“One of the things that the inter-governmental review did not touch on was the accountability framework behind which the new system of working together could sit. Would you agree with me that we now need to look at an inter-parliamentary body in order to hold the various Governments to account for the new working arrangements to make sure that they really do deliver on the aspirations set out in the review?”
First Minister Mark Drakeford replied: “I’ve always believed that the ability to secure vaccines for use across the United Kingdom was better done on a UK basis, although the implementation of vaccination and, of course, the programme that has made use of it have been in the hands of the different governments of the United Kingdom.
“All of those things I have no difficulty in acknowledging. I imagine that, in the privacy of his own committee rooms, the Member himself would recognise that this is not a good time for the UK Government, and its ability to live up to the ambitions of the IGR is inevitably compromised by the events of recent times and the way in which the UK Government has turned in on itself in order to try to find a way through the mess of its own making.”
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