“Wales is not being fully scrutinised – give us the Wales-specific Covid inquiry you promised” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS writes to FM

Following the official launch of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry on 21 July 2022, Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has written to the First Minister expressing the “many alarm bells” which rang following the Chair’s opening statement.

Mr ap Iorwerth has expressed concern over the lack of a Wales-specific perspective to modules 1 and 3, and the “in-built delay” to the Welsh element of module 2.

Last Thursday, the UK Covid-19 Inquiry announced three modules of the inquiry, which will examine:

  • Module 1: resilience and preparedness of the UK;
  • Module 2: core political and administrative governance and decision-making (UK):
    • Module 2A: Scotland
    • Module 2B: Wales
    • Module 2C: Northern Ireland
  • Module 3: impact of Covid-19 on healthcare systems, patients, staff and hospitals.

The First Minister has previously stated his expectation for the inquiry to “be able to make the best sense it can of the experience of families, patients, staff here in Wales during the pandemic”. However module 3, which examines the impact to patients and staff does not have a Wales-specific element to it.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“The opening statement by the UK Inquiry Chair rang many alarm bells for me, and I am seeking clarification from the First Minister on two important points.

“I want to know why there isn’t a specific Welsh perspective to all three inquiry modules announced to date and why there appears to be an in-built delay before specific questions regarding Wales are raised in relation to the second module.

“Decisions made in Wales should be scrutinised in Wales, but given the narrow scope outlined in the UK Chair’s opening statement – when only one module out of three will have a Welsh focus – this is now seriously in doubt.

“Given that the First Minister has long insisted that if Wales is not fully scrutinised then we will need to have a Wales specific inquiry, his response will be greatly anticipated by myself and the thousands of bereaved families in Wales that want answers. And we must get answers.”