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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Skates raises concerns about "paralysed" UK Government

Clwyd South Senedd Member Ken Skates (pictured) has raised concerns over the "paralysed" UK Government’s ability to work with Wales amid the current "crisis engulfing" Downing Street. 

During First Minister’s Questions he asked Mark Drakeford for an update on the functioning of the relationship between the Welsh and UK governments. 

The First Minister said: “We need a UK Government capable of discharging its responsibilities rather than one paralysed by the unfolding crises of a deeply dysfunctional Downing Street.” 

Mr Skates continued: “Governments can only operate effectively if they are stable and focused purely on serving the public good. 

“It's been disturbing to read about the parties, the lockdown law-breaking, and the Prime Minister's precarious leadership position, all of which I fear risks, as you said, paralysing the UK Government and therefore undermining inter-governmental relations until there is a new leader. 

“First Minister, are you able to offer us any reassurance that the UK Government is able to discharge its functions responsibly given all that has happened during the course of the pandemic?” 

Addressing the Presiding Officer, the First Minister said: “Llywydd, I’m afraid I don't think I can offer such a reassurance. The UK Government, it seems to me, is trapped in the headlights of the events that it has brought upon itself by its utter disregard for the rules that the rest of us are bound by. 

“And in an attempt now to escape from the dilemmas that it itself has created, everything it does is seen through that lens. Every statement that is made, any policy initiative that is put forward, is not motivated by the needs of the country or the importance of addressing the key challenges that we face. Every one of them is seen through the lens of how this Government can escape from the mire into which it has plunged itself. 

“And in those circumstances, I'm afraid, on the things that Ken Skates pointed to – the need for stability, the need for a government focused on serving the public good – I can't offer any assurances that the current state of the UK Government is conducive to those sorts of qualities.” 

A YouGov poll earlier this week revealed 60% of people in Wales thought the Welsh Government’s handling of the pandemic was better than England’s. The Sunday Times this week declared Mark Drakeford "comfortably the UK’s most popular leader".

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