Labour-Plaid coalition must stop insulting grieving families and hold COVID inquiry

The Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition has been urged to stop ignoring grieving families and finally commit to holding a Wales-specific COVID inquiry.

Welsh Conservative MS Darren Millar called on Labour and their new coalition partners in Plaid Cymru to do the right thing and commission an inquiry during today’s First Minister’s Questions.

Mr Millar’s calls for an inquiry came after he quizzed Drakeford over a damning report into mental health services in Wales, which was published last week.

The Holden Report, supressed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board for almost eight years, exposed a culture of bullying and intimidation, staff shortages and patient neglect on the Hergest Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Mr Millar asked the First Minister what lessons the Labour Government had learnt from the report and if he accepted any responsibility for the harm suffered by patients given he was Health Minister at the time.

However, Drakeford brushed off the opportunity to apologise for his handling of mental health in North Wales and said he had no plans for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry.

Commenting outside of the chamber, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales and the Constitution, Darren Millar MS, said:

“Mark Drakeford evaded responsibility as Health Minister when serious problems were erupting at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board years ago, and he is evading responsibility now as First Minister by refusing to hold a Welsh COVID inquiry.

“Plaid Cymru have long backed the Welsh Conservative calls for a Wales-specific inquiry and given they are now in bed with the Labour Government they are in a unique position to demand ministers do the right thing, but sadly it appears the separatists have abandoned their principals.

“Instead of prioritising more politicians and constitutional reform, Labour Ministers and their Plaid Cymru allies, must stop insulting the families of people who lost their lives during the pandemic and commission a Welsh COVID inquiry as soon as possible.”

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