Mark Drakeford said Prime Minister Boris Johnson cannot escape responsibility for the failings identified in Sue Gray’s report into lockdown parties at Downing Street simply by apologising.
On Wednesday the full report by civil servant Sue Gray was published revealing a shocking insight into a culture of drinking and un professional behaviour at the heart of the UK Government at the height of the pandemic. It heavily criticised senior political and civil service leaders over the culture they fostered in Downing Street.
You can read all the most shocking revelations form the report here.
Mark Drakeford said he despaired to read the findings of Ms Gray’s report. He was speaking as he announced the final lifting of all legal Covid restrictions in Wales. See our coverage of the final Covid press conference here.
“I have seen the Sue Gray report,” he said. “Truthfully, the the biggest reaction, I have to it is a sense of despair really. That things could have got to a pitch where, right to the heart of government, where all those decisions were being made that had such an impact on other people’s lives, that people conducted themselves in the way that we did. The Sue Gray report has now all those pretty grim details of the way that people felt it was alright for them to behave.”
When asked if he believed that the Prime Minister’s apology was genuine (a YouGov poll suggests most of the public do not feel he means it), Mr Drakeford added: “I don’t think the Prime Minister can escape from his responsibility simply by apologising for it and saying that when he entered a room where people were eating and drinking, sitting on each other’s laps, planning to spend the night there into the early hours, that he didn’t realize that this was not consistent with the rules that he himself was setting. I’m afraid I don’t find that credible, and I don’t think many other people do either. “