Call for disclosure of ministerial WhatsApp in Covid inquiry

The Leader of the Opposition has called for private messages between Labour Government ministers and officials in Cardiff Bay to be disclosed to the UK-wide Covid inquiry.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said:

“In order for the inquiry to achieve its purpose of delivering answers to those who lost loved ones, lost their businesses, and lost valuable hours of education during the pandemic, it is essential that we get as much transparency as possible.

“This must extend just beyond decision-makers in Westminster, so that people in Wales can hold leaders in Cardiff Bay accountable too. We need to see how ministers interacted with civil servants, the health boards, and Public Health Wales to get the full picture.

“We always wanted a Wales-specific inquiry as there would be no doubt this would happen as there would be no threat of Welsh Government actions being overshadowed, but without one we are writing to the Chair to ensure our joint ambition of equal scrutiny across the UK is maintained.

“I look forward to hearing back from Baroness Hallett on the assurances we have sought.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS has written to inquiry Chair, Baroness Hallett, asking her to ensure demands made of the UK Government are also made to the devolved administration.

It was reported today that the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and some of his senior officials will be required to submit some of their WhatsApp messages to the inquiry. Davies has asked if similar requests will be made of ministers and officials in the Welsh Government.

He added: “this would ensure that the four governments within the United Kingdom are scrutinised on a level-playing field and that people in the devolved nations see accountability being applied equally, principles I know you [Hallett] are passionate about upholding”.

The call comes as the UK-wide coronavirus inquiry begins its evidence collection. The Welsh Conservatives have long backed calls from the Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru group for a Wales-specific inquiry given concerns that the Labour Government’s actions will be overshadowed.

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