"Worrying": James O'Brien's instant reaction to Wales announcing different lockdown plan

15 May 2020, 14:25 | Updated: 15 May 2020, 14:36

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien gives his instant reaction to the "worrying" fact that Wales have a different lockdown exit plan to England and what this means for Westminster.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford announced a "traffic light" lockdown exit plan that "will put people's health first". The Welsh plan does not have set dates and it is not just a set of steps to "get people back to work."

He urged people to stay at home to save lives: "The message has not changed because the virus has not changed."

James reflected that this is worrying because Wales have said all their decisions are based on the latest scientific advice but they appear to be in a "rather different place" from England.

"England also need a further qualification because as far as I can tell the government have just used that bail out that TfL needed, that Sadiq Khan explained to us yesterday, to increase the congestion charge while simultaneously telling people to avoid public transport if they can.

James said it was worrying that Wales had chosen a different exit plan to Westminster
James said it was worrying that Wales had chosen a different exit plan to Westminster. Picture: LBC/PA

"So you've got Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and London arguably at odds with the Westminster government."

"There is a different approach in Wales to the approach on the other side of Offa's Dyke...and a traffic light system for phased reductions in the lockdown."

James observed that the Department of Transport had been working up to a phased opening of public transport for 18 May and then on 10 May the Prime Minister announced people should try and return to work if safe to do so, using public transport only when necessary.

"And now we've got this Welsh scenario - a land border that is utterly utterly invisible and the idea that you could somehow have one system in place on one side and another system in place on the other side of it is just an indication of what happens when Westminster leaves such a vacuum in the place clarity and leadership should have been."