Mark Drakeford criticised over Wales restrictions by Evans
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Conservative MS James Evans attacked Mark Drakeford for imposing strict restrictions in Wales until New Year celebrations have passed despite pubs and clubs remaining open in England. Mr Evans said it was not a good decision for the Welsh economy as hospitality venues are either running at a much lower capacity or not at all. But the Tory politician went one step further in his condemnation, drawing parallels between Mr Drakeford and his links to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before branding his restrictions as “extreme socialism”.
Speaking on GB News, Mr Evans was furious at the restrictions in Wales and questioned the legitimacy of Mr Drakeford’s ability to govern.
He explained: “I think the whole of the Welsh nation is completely baffled by the restrictions that Mark Drakeford has imposed.
“But it’s not a shock really, this is the first senior Labour figure that came out to back Jeremy Corbyn.
“This just tells you all you need to know about his style of politics, it is extreme socialism.
“It’s all about control and not giving anybody their freedoms back, this man has no idea of business.
“He’s been in the public sector all his life, he was a university lecturer and he went on to be a special advisor for then First Minister Rhodri Morgan.
“To then become health minister, was part of the Government when he became an assembly member and every department he has touched has had major failure in it.
“What Labour has done, they promoted somebody to the top job to run the country that’s got a history of failure.
Wales: Covid-19 restrictions a 'hammerblow' says pub owner
“So it’s not surprising, but it’s not good for the Welsh economy and it’s not good for Britain.”
Mr Drakeford, along with Scotland and Northern Ireland, introduced new restrictions over the festive period which limits group numbers.
In Wales, people are required to follow the rule of six and nightclubs have been closed – spelling disaster for nightlife industry bosses.
Working from home advice is also in effect as is mask-wearing rules for public venues with many events forced to cancel due to limits on group sizes.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid came out to attack Welsh leaders for forcing Parkrun, a weekly running club, to cancel its events in Wales due to the new rules.
In a tweet, Mr Javid wrote: “Parkrun has helped so many people improve their health across the UK.
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“I can’t see how restricting outdoor exercise in this way is justified or proportionate.”
Hospitality industry bosses have reacted in fury against the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with William Lees-Jones, owner of JW Lees pub chain, banning Mr Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon from his venues in response.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew Davies, commented on the rules and said: “As businesses struggle in the run-up to the new year, we still haven’t seen any scientific evidence or advice from the Welsh Government on these new restrictions.
“Another example of why we need to see a Wales-specific inquiry into their handling of the pandemic.”
According to Public Health Wales, 5,680 new cases of the Omicron variant were recorded on December 29 bringing the total to 7,369 cases.
The body also recorded a total of 12,378 cases of COVID-19 between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
Wales has also seen record NHS waiting times for 18 successive months with the BBC reporting 679,626 people were waiting in October.
This is an increase of 50 percent since the early days of the Covid pandemic.
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