‘Warped mindset’: Conservatives blast Drakeford for setting up constitutional committee but no Covid inquiry
The Welsh Conservatives have responded to Mark Drakeford’s setting up of a committee to discuss Wales’ future in the UK but no Wales-specific Covid inquiry by accusing him of a “warped and out of touch” mindset.
The First Minister said yesterday that Boris Johnson has confirmed that there will be a “Welsh dimension” to the UK-wide inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Conservatives said that rather than finding answers on Covid-19, Mark Drakeford preferred “naval-gazing over constitutional settlements”.
Referring to the independent Constitutional Commission set up by the Welsh Government, they said the First Minister would rather “examine the dangerous and economically illiterate cause of independence”.
Yesterday the First Minister has said he pressed Boris Johnson for a “guarantee” that the UK investigation would “properly examine” actions of the Welsh Government.
Mark Drakeford said: “Today I pressed the PM for a guarantee the UK covid inquiry would properly examine the actions of the Welsh Government and experiences of the people of Wales.
“The PM confirmed there will be a proper Welsh dimension to the inquiry and spoke of its importance to the whole of the UK.”
Responding, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said that the families of those who had died of Covid-19 in Wales deserved an independent inquiry.
“For the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to both refuse grieving Welsh families a Covid inquiry to examine its actions during the pandemic and to push ahead with its constitutional commission in a matter of hours shows its mindset is warped and out-of-touch,” he said.
“Wales has the highest Covid death rate in the UK and over 8,000 people have tragically died during the pandemic, a quarter of whom acquired the infection in hospital. Their families deserve answers, and full, independent scrutiny of the decisions taken by Labour ministers.
“This should be the priority, not naval-gazing over constitutional settlements that will, unbelievably, examine the dangerous and economically illiterate cause of independence.
“Bereaved families, doctor groups, and lung charities are all calling on Mark Drakeford to accept the due scrutiny that every democracy deserves. Otherwise, the question will arise: what are Labour ministers hiding?”
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