Local Welsh Labour MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, is disappointed that the UK Government has chosen to halt its daily Downing Street press conferences just as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased.
Yesterday (23 June) Number 10 announced that the daily briefings will now only happen when a significant development in the UK Government’s response to coronavirus is announced. The Welsh Labour Government has since confirmed that it has “no plans” to stop its similar daily press conferences.
Since the UK-wide lockdown was first announced, daily press briefings have become commonplace across all four nations. This latest move follows the UK Government’s decision to reduce the weekly number of such press conferences to 5 from 7 at the start of the crisis.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“Decisions are being made on a daily basis within government that have major ramifications for public health and our economy. Now is not the time for Boris Johnson to start rowing back on the scrutiny the UK Government faces – particularly when social distancing has meant this has been limited at best.
“We’ve seen journalists muted, our country’s top scientists gagged, and a dismissive attitude from several ministers at these briefings. But now, as we ease out of lockdown and towards our economic recovery, we need more scrutiny of government decision-making; not less!
“I’m pleased that Welsh Labour First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, and his ministers have made themselves available to journalists, the public, and others from across our legislatures since this pandemic began and I know that this will continue.
“It’s clear that we have a Prime Minister who is scared of scrutiny. If he is proud of his record, he should be willing to defend it to the public, journalists, and MPs as much as possible.”