During the hybrid Plenary session, Paul Davies MS – the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – quizzed the First Minister over the effectiveness and proportionality of his party’s approach to localised lockdowns.
The question was all the more relevant with suggestions that a second national lockdown could be announced in Wales. Currently, some 17 of 22 Welsh local authorities are in some form of lockdown.
Mr Davies bluntly asked:
“Does this mean that the Welsh Government’s current approach to implementing the current lockdowns has been a failure?”
A clearly agitated First Minister attempted to deflect the question, but Mr Davies took the advantage and pressed home some uncomfortable truths including that the number of Covid-related deaths is proportionally higher here in Wales than in England, and that the UK Government has supported Wales during the pandemic with an additional £4 billion.
Speaking later, Mr Davies said:
“It’s not surprising that the First Minister looked a little disconcerted. His reluctance to accept that the approach his Welsh Labour-led Government is taking is inconsistent and confusing epitomises his party’s dithering and muddled methods.
“We Welsh Conservatives repeat our calls for a far more detailed, a far smarter approach to be taken on lockdowns in Wales to use data that are as real time and localised as possible so that only those areas that need to be locked down to slow the spread of this terrible virus are.
“This will protect our people, our communities, and our economy far better.”
Matt Smith is a Conservative who stood for Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. He was a policy analyst at Vote Leave. He has written about Welsh politics for The Telegraph, Conhome, BrexitCentral, CAPX, GlobalVisionUK, Institute of Welsh Affairs and Gwydir. Read more about Welsh politics at www.mattsmith.org.uk/news.