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Welsh response ‘would have been different if lack of UK Covid plan known’

06 Mar 2024 2 minute read
The Ivor Novello statue in Cardiff Bay during lockdown. Photo Nation.Cymru

The Welsh Government would have acted “quite differently” if it had known the UK Government’s pandemic planning was so poor, a senior official has told an inquiry.

Reg Kilpatrick said Welsh officials were unaware of comments made in March 2020 by a senior Cabinet Office civil servant.

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has heard that Mark Sweeney, director general of the cabinet secretariat in the Cabinet Office, told Helen MacNamara, the then deputy cabinet secretary, that there was not a plan in place to deal with a health emergency.

‘Huge trouble’

Mr Sweeney reportedly told Ms MacNamara: “I have been told for years there’s a whole plan for this. There is no plan. We are in huge trouble.”

Giving evidence, Mr Kilpatrick, the director general of the Welsh Government’s Covid recovery and local government group, said Mr Sweeney had not shared those comments with him in meetings with the devolved administrations in early 2020.

Surprised

“I would certainly have been very surprised to have heard anything like this reported in such a cross-government forum,” he told the inquiry.

“I think as a government, and my professional colleagues within Welsh Government, I think we would have probably acted quite differently over the following few weeks if we had understood that there was a lack of a plan.

“I don’t know from this quote whether it’s a lack of a cross-Government plan or lack of plan in the Department of Health.

“But in any case, I think some of our thinking might have been accelerated had we known of this exchange.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

No plan! England hasn’t got a plan for us…weeping and a wailing…

Hold our hand England as we don’t the brains/common sense/wit or the sense of urgency to act in the interests of those who pay our wages…

Now they can avoid blame even easier from now on thanks to yesterday’s stitch-up…

Solicitor Politicians! Led by Smiles! You jest…

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago

Mark Drakeford calls membership of the UK an insurance policy for Wales. Clearly Mark hasn’t read the insurance policy’s small print (or the BIG PRINT). How much longer will the British Labour party in Wales keep putting us through this Westminster nonsense? Their ongoing belief in a British socialist utopia is naive and optimistic in the extreme. They are complicit in allowing the Tories to systematically destroy our public services.

Stevie B
Stevie B
1 month ago

The Welsh government has a duty of care to its citizens. Why are they allowing another government (in another country) to have such a catastrophic impact on its citizens?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie B

Because England may be another country but, technically, it isn’t another state (by the way I agree with your sentiment, I’m just pointing out the constitional sh!t that we’re on).

Rob jones
Rob jones
1 month ago

So dripford and labour couldn’t think for themselves

ci du
ci du
1 month ago

I am surprised that the Welsh Government hadn’t learned anything about the UK Goverment during the previous year or indeed the previous two governments. Given that they were very quick to blame the UK Government for everything wrong in Cymru, you might have assumed that they would have contingency plans for the incompetance that they were very clear existed. One thing about the Labour Party here, considering that everything is always the fault of the Tories in Westminster they are remarkably resistent to the obvious solution. Easier to have someone to blame than to take responsibility for stuff yourself, I… Read more »

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