Election 2019

General election 2019: UK Labour attitude to Wales 'borders on contempt'

Adam Price (left) challenges Rebecca Long-Bailey (second from right)
Image caption Adam Price (left) challenging Rebecca Long-Bailey (second from right) in Friday's debate

UK Labour figures have "an indifference to Wales that borders on contempt", Plaid Cymru's leader has claimed.

Adam Price made the accusation after shadow cabinet members' recent contributions to TV election debates.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon struggled with questions relating to the health service in Wales in programmes over the weekend.

The first minister said Mr Price had "spent too long touring TV studios".

The exchange between Mark Drakeford and Mr Price came during First Minister's Questions on Tuesday.

Responsibility for health and social care in Wales lies with the Labour Welsh Government.

Image caption Adam Price said Richard Burgon's silence "spoke volumes"

During a seven-way BBC debate broadcast from the Senedd on Friday night Ms Long-Bailey was asked about Labour's health record in Wales and maternity failures at Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board.

Ms Long-Bailey replied: "I don't know about the case that's being referred to, but knowing from my legal experience, there should be a full legal investigation and a public inquiry into this incident, which sounds horrific."

Following the programme, Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he had already intervened and claimed there was "no basis to support an extra process".

On Sunday evening, Ms Long-Bailey withdrew her call for a public inquiry.

Mr Burgon was taking part in a seven-way ITV debate on Sunday when he was asked by Mr Price why the Welsh Government had failed to introduce universal free social care in Wales.

The look on Mr Burgon's face after the question was posed "provided the moment of the debate", according to ITV's political editor Robert Peston.

Later on Sunday evening Labour assembly member and former Welsh Government minister Alun Davies said Mr Burgon was "utterly useless" and "an embarrassment".

Image caption Mark Drakeford said Mr Price was "a victim of his own propaganda"

During First Minister's Questions, Mr Price said to Mr Drakeford: "You'd have thought having been caught out once by the indifference, ignorance, to what is happening in Wales, you would have briefed Richard Burgon on Sunday.

"It wasn't just a moment of utter embarrassment as Alun Davies said.

"His silence in not being able to respond to me in terms of what is happening in the NHS in Wales - it spoke volumes about an indifference to Wales that borders on contempt."

The first minister said Mr Price - who took part in both debates - had "spent too long touring the television studios".

"His view of what matters to people in Wales is distorted by the hours he spends running Wales down in front of the television audiences and in fact he's a victim of his own propaganda if he believes that shadow Labour members are somehow answerable to him," said Mr Drakeford.

"The NHS in Wales is controlled by a Labour government with Labour ministers here answering questions every week on every aspect of it."

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