THE first minister attacked veteran Labour MP Ann Clwyd’s campaign on the Welsh NHS yesterday, saying she had produced no facts and no evidence.
Carwyn Jones said its important a report on Ms Clwyd’s husband should be made public and claimed she has produced nothing but anonymous comments that can’t be investigated.
It came after the leader of the opposition, Andrew RT Davies, asked him if he agreed with comments made by Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle that Mrs Clwyd should stop denigrating the Welsh NHS, made in the Assembly earlier in March.
Ms Neagle later accused Mr Davies of misrepresenting her and leading a smear campaign against the country’s health service, before being called to order by the presiding officer.
Mr Jones, who spoke during First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd, told AMs: “Ann has based her allegations on the way her husband was treated – she has refused permission for the report surrounding her husband’s treatment to be made public.
“I think its important for people to make a judgement on what happened that that report is made public, but that of course is a matter for others.
He continued: “Ann Clwyd has produced no evidence and no facts... She has produced nothing but anonymous comments that are unattributable - we don’t know where they are from, we don’t know whether they are correct or not, they can’t be investigated.
“I’m afraid we have asked her on more than one occasion to produce the evidence to back up her claims.”
The comments were prompted by Welsh Tory leader Mr Davies, who asked if Mr Jones thought Ann Clwyd should stop her campaign for better standards for patient care in the Welsh NHS “as the member for Torfaen indicated some two weeks ago.”
Later on Lynne Neagle accused Mr Davies of misrepresenting her comments, saying she didn’t call on Mrs Clwyd to stop campaigning but had said “that all cases of poor case are unacceptable but that doesn’t not give anyone the right to denigrate the entire Welsh NHS.”
She said she very much regretted the cheap shot from the leader of the Welsh Conservatives and accused him of leading his own “smear campaign” against the Welsh NHS.
Rosemary Butler called Ms Neagle, who had raised her voice over the heckling in the Senedd, to order, and the Torfaen AM’s microphone dropped out.