Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Welsh people treated like ‘second-class citizens’ during pandemic, inquiry told

12 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Health Minister Eluned Morgan. Photo Welsh Government

Welsh people were treated like “second-class citizens” by the UK Government during the pandemic, an inquiry has heard.

Baroness Eluned Morgan, the Welsh Labour health minister – who took over the role from Vaughan Gething during the latter part of the pandemic – told the UK Covid-19 inquiry hearing on Tuesday that people in Wales felt ignored by Westminster.

She made the comment while addressing questions about the firebreak – a short, two-week lockdown in October 2020 – and the UK Government’s refusal to help fund keeping it in place for longer.

Baroness Morgan said: “We were really concerned about the financial ability, the firepower, of the Welsh Government at the time to be able to sustain a lockdown for as long as was necessary.

“The scientists were suggesting we should be doing it for three weeks, I think we didn’t have the economic power to maintain a three-week firebreak.”

Financial support

She said it was “really disappointing” that the UK Government was “not forthcoming in terms of financial support”.

“Then two weeks later, when they wanted to go into a firebreak, they suddenly announced a different approach.

“I think that was a very difficult time for us as a nation because I think people felt like we were second-class citizens in the context of the UK Government.”

Joanne Cecil, counsel to the inquiry, also showed the hearing several of Baroness Morgan’s text and email messages from the pandemic.

This included one to a colleague soon after she had taken up the health minister role which said, “we are all f****d” and another to the health minister of Northern Ireland which saying, “We are doomed”.

Baroness Morgan apologised for her “fruity language” and said it would not “go down very well with her husband, who is a priest”.

She said the message came quite early on in her appointment and followed discussions about opening up the borders to travellers from France on the same day another meeting heard that the country should be put on the “red” restricted list.

Contradictions

“I just found that a massive contradiction and very worrying,” she said.

Like other Welsh Government ministers, including Mr Gething who appeared on Monday, Baroness Morgan was asked why some of her messages were deleted.

She said: “I don’t know quite why or when but clearly there were only a couple of examples where that happened.”

The inquiry also saw sections of her notebooks which showed her questioning if Matt Hancock was “hopeless” and the “Prime Minister – chaos”.

The inquiry continues.


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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
30 days ago

Well that is nothing new WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TREATED LIKE SECOND CLASS CITEZENS in our own country Wales under whichever party is in Power in England

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
30 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

We’re Welsh people in England treated as second class citizens or is it a question of the people of Wales were treated in such a way. Remembering of course that in the global world od the 21st century not everyone who lives in Wales is Welsh.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
30 days ago

Yet another hole in Mark Drakeford’s the “UK is our insurance policy” boat. When will this nonsense end? When will Labour start to seriously consider Welsh independence?

Frank
Frank
30 days ago

Not only on that occasion were we “second class citizens” we are second class citizens 24/7 as far as Westminster is concerned. Roll on independence.

hdavies15
hdavies15
30 days ago
Reply to  Frank

2nd Class 24/7 under the Bay regime too. Inside the bubble it’s just 1st Class elite stuff, outside you just taking part in one big game of chance.

Glyntwin
Glyntwin
29 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Please explain how you come to this conclusion.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
30 days ago

The Welsh as Second Class Citizens is putting it mildly. We are trampled on by Westminster whichever party is in power

robin campbell
robin campbell
30 days ago

The simpering Baroness supports the system that apparently treats her like a second class citizen. Bless!

hdavies15
hdavies15
30 days ago
Reply to  robin campbell

Just one example of the feeble stance of our governing parties.

Gaynor
Gaynor
30 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Stockholm syndrome; or Welsh Labour , the definition of madness!

Neilyn
Neilyn
30 days ago

What a hypocrite you are Eluned Morgan. HS2? Legal Jurisdiction? Policing? etc etc etc…

Jeff
Jeff
30 days ago

Wales could never have afforded the lockdowns on its own, it needed No11. No10 was hosting some dangerous people that wanted herd immunity, Sunak boasted (on the leadership campaign trail where he came third) that he flew back from the US to prevent a firebreak in England. They needed one that xmas cos it was getting even worse. Which meant Sunak would not loosen the purse strings cos it was not what he wanted or that bunch of wreckers, the great barrington declaration driving policy. No10 wasn’t in it for the health of the UK, Boris thought the elderly should… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
30 days ago

Rani Morgan, returned from India, much refreshed…ready to blame Catch 22…

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
30 days ago

Well nothing new there, if our history is anything to go by we’ve always been the foot stool for English government. Everything about our nation has been supression and exploitation, from Treweryn to the liquefied natural gas plants in Pembrokeshire that supply England but are to hazardous to put on English soil. Let’s not forget the punishment our ancestors endured for speaking their natural tongue, and let us not forget how we were encouraged to adopt English naming rather than our native patronymic system. Wales has suffered silent abuses, ignored by the world for long enough and it’s time we… Read more »

Riki
Riki
30 days ago

Only during the pandemic? The people of Wales are always being treated like second class citizens.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.