FIRST minister Mark Drakeford has launched a scathing criticism of Boris Johnson's revised lockdown guidelines, saying the UK's devolved administrations were not given the chance to have their say on them.

Much of the focus of today's coronavirus update briefing from the Welsh Government was on yesterday's statement from the prime minister - with Mr Drakeford criticising how the UK Government has engaged with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland during the pandemic.

Mr Drakeford said that, despite writing to Michael Gove three weeks ago asking for more regular meetings, this was not forthcoming.

"We didn't have that reliable pattern of communication over the three weeks," he said.

"I don't think that is sufficient to deal with the complexity of coming out of lockdown."

Mr Drakeford also said that he believed the more cautious approach being taken in Wales was 'the right thing to do'.

"I think we've got it right in Wales and I don't think they've got it right over the border," he said.

"The further people go, the more the virus will spread.

"I have huge sympathy with people who have loved ones over the border.

"It's part of the sacrifice we are all making, but we're making it for a good reason."


Asked whether he was concerned that Wales - and the other devolved administrations - might be being 'shut out' of coronavirus talks, Mr Drakeford said that the problem was regular communication.

"When you get conversations with the UK government, they are helpful," he said,

"They don't try to shut us out, they've just not been reliable and routine enough.

"For COBRA to meet twice a month is not enough.

"I want the UK to succeed and I want the component parts of the UK to have the opportunity to come to common results."

Mr Drakeford also said that Boris Johnson had been notified by members of the Welsh Government, as well as the First Minister himself, that it was important to make it clear which points of his message would not apply to the devolved administrations.

Mr Drakeford said that more should have been done to make this clear.

He was clear, however, that politics had played no part in any decision-making up to this point.

"That plays no part whatsoever in our thinking," he said.

"In all the discussions I have had with the UK government, the issue of party politics has never entered the discussion.

"People are right to be concerned about the difficulty of messaging either side of the border.

"This is why I have always pushed for a UK-wide approach."