Welsh First Minister admits sometimes feeling lonely when making coronavirus decisions

2 October 2020, 16:52

By Sam Sholli

The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has admitted on LBC that he sometimes has felt lonely and "burdened" while making decisions on how to tackle coronavirus.

Six areas of south Wales - Caerphilly county borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent - are under stricter restrictions as part of local lockdowns.

Mr Drakeford has also asked people in Wales to avoid unnecessary journeys.

When asked by James O'Brien if he ever feels lonely when making tough decisions on how to handle Covid-19, Mr Drakeford said: "Yes. I think particularly when you're making very difficult decisions that impact on people's lives, it can feel sometimes that you are a bit burdened by it all."

However, despite saying that he sometimes felt lonely, Wales' First Minister did also tell James that he was rarely ever alone when making decisions on how to best handle efforts against Covid-19.

Mr Drakeford said: "I am very keen that we run a collective leadership here in Wales. I'm very rarely on my own making decisions. I've always got my cabinet colleagues, the people who advise us and so on.

"So, in that sense, I never feel really that I'm on my own. But when you go to sleep at night, all you can do I think is look back on the day and say to yourself I did the best I could and the decisions I've made are ones that I feel I can justify to myself and others even when they are close calls."

Mr Drakeford also told LBC that he thought SNP MP Margaret Ferrier's position was "untenable" after the Scottish politician participated in a parliamentary debate despite having coronavirus.

The MP has apologised and been suspended by her party. Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called Ms Ferrier's actions "utterly indefensible".

When James O'Brien asked Mr Drakeford if Ms Ferrier could hold onto her post, he said: "I doubt it. I've seen what the First Minister of Scotland has said. You cannot be someone who makes the law and then not follow it yourself.

"So, in Wales, I'm absolutely committed to the fact that if I ask somebody else to do something, I have to do the same thing [and] my fellow cabinet members have to do the same thing.

"Margaret Ferrier didn't. She knew that she wasn't doing that. It's untenable really, isn't it?"