May 9, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

First Minister Mark Drakeford unrepentant about holding briefing on Friday to discuss releasing more lockdown controls

FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford is unrepentant about holding a briefing on Friday to discuss releasing more lockdown controls.

He was making a campaign stop in Llangollen with Clwyd South candidate Ken Skates and UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Outside Llangollen Health Center, where Sir Keir chatted with local vaccination staff for around 20 minutes, Mr Drakeford answered his critics over the move.

He had been roundly criticised for planning the announcement by rivals in the race for the Senedd, who said senior civil servants should front the briefing.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: “I’m absolutely certain that if the news was bad opposition parties would be demanding I was there to take the press conference.

“In the end I am responsible for the decisions the Welsh Government makes.

“Ministers have to take that responsibility. I will do it tomorrow as First Minister. There will be no politics in it.

“I will not be saying anything about the campaign or Labour’s position in it.

“I will be reporting the public health position, the advice that we have had and I will be indicating to people, as I have done every three weeks, the things we hope we will be able to look forward to.”

Sir Keir Starmer backed up his colleagues stewardship of the pandemic in Wales.

He said: “How you lead in difficult times is a much better measure of a leader than leading in easier times.

“I think Mark and Welsh Labour have led incredibly well over the last 14 months, in contrast to Boris Johnson.

“That’s my assessment. What is more important than my assessment is I have been in Wales a number of times during this campaign and when I talk to people on their doorsteps or in the street, that’s what they’re saying to me.

“Everybody knows there are no easy decisions so full tribute to him – that’s a real test of leadership.”

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