MARK Drakeford should receive the same level of scrutiny over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as Boris Johnson, a senior UK Government minister has said.

A UK-wide public inquiry into the decisions taken by Boris Johnson’s Government is due to begin next year, while the Scottish Government under Nicola Sturgeon has announced its own independent inquiry.

Opposition politicians in Wales and those who have lost family members to Covid-19 have called on the Welsh Government to hold its own inquiry.

The Welsh Government said last month it was engaging with the UK Government on the detail of the UK-wide inquiry.

Welsh secretary Simon Hart told journalists that Mark Drakeford should receive the same level of scrutiny as the prime minister.

“What is critical in this inquiry or inquiries is that each of the administrations of the UK comes under the same degree of scrutiny and examination,” he said.

“Whether that is achieved by a UK-wide inquiry which covers the role of the devolved administrations or whether a Wales-specific inquiry would be able to deliver the same level of scrutiny is a matter of judgment.

“As long as it asks the right questions of the right people and devotes a sufficient amount of energy and focus on the decisions of those devolved administrations as. otherwise, we will get a not entirely analytical exploration and examination of what went well and what went less well.”

He added: “I think it’s important Mark Drakeford receives the same degree of scrutiny as Boris Johnson.”

In Scotland, a judge-led inquiry will be established by the end of the year and in Wales the Senedd Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have called for the same.

A Welsh Government spokesman said last month: “We are considering the Scottish Government’s proposal alongside our continued engagement with the UK Government on the detail of the four-nation inquiry.

“We are seeking commitment that the four-nation inquiry will deal comprehensively with the actions of the Welsh Government and the experiences of the people of Wales.”