“If Eluned Morgan won’t resign over Betsi failure, it’s up to the First Minister to remove her” - Rhun ap Iorwerth MS
Labour ministers acting with ‘same arrogance’ as Tories in refusing to shoulder responsibility
After a week of deepening crisis within Betsi Cadwaladr, and a catalogue of health failings, Plaid Cymru Health spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth, has today (Saturday 4 March) said that the Health Minister Eluned Morgan now has “no authority” and that it’s up to the First Minister to bring in new leadership.
Mr ap Iorwerth was speaking ahead of his speech to Plaid Cymru’s Spring Conference in Llanelli.
Whilst the placing of the board back in special measures this week was broadly welcomed – and in fact it should never have been brought out of special measures in 2020 - Eluned Morgan’s decision to humiliate and effectively sack the Independent Members of the board has been widely criticised, with many claiming they were the wrong target.
The Board Members said they had “no confidence in the Welsh Government’s grasp of the situation”. Eluned Morgan later said it “wasn’t her job to have a grasp” of the situation.
Last week, Mr ap Iorwerth called on the Health Minister to consider her position. She said she’d remain in post “as long at the First Minister had confidence” in her. Ahead of his speech to Plaid Cymru conference, the Ynys Môn MS and candidate for the upcoming Westminster election, Rhun ap Iorwerth repeated his belief that the Minister had lost the confidence of people served by the health board, and given the Minister’s refusal to take accountability, it was therefore up to First Mister to “do the right thing”.
Rhun ap Iorwerth said that “in a democracy, the authority to govern flows from the people”, but that Eluned Morgan had “clearly” lost that authority.
The voters of Ynys Môn will have an opportunity to “turn their disillusionment” with Labour and the Tories into “positive action” at the next General Election, Mr ap Iorwerth added, by voting for Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru health and care spokesperson and candidate for Ynys Mon in the next general election, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:
“The people of Wales have lost faith in the Health Minister. Time and again, she’s evaded scrutiny and shifted blame onto others when challenged with the disastrous outcomes of her own policies.
“This is particularly true in the north. The patients and staff of Betsi Cadwaladr deserve better from their government. The least they deserve is an apology, but what we all need is the government to step up and take responsibility for this mess.
“In a democracy, the authority to govern flows from the people. It’s clear Eluned Morgan no longer has that authority. If she’s not willing to take responsibility now, the First Minister should do the right thing on behalf of the people of Wales, and remove his Health Minister.
Mr ap Iorwerth added that there ws wider significance to the unwillingness on the Labour Minister’s part to accept responsibility:
“We fought for devolution so we could design a politics that was different to the elitist politics of Westminster. Conservative Ministers – and Prime Ministers – have been rightly derided for their shameful arrogance towards the public. But here we seen Labour ministers also acting as if they are beyond reproach, shielded from scrutiny.
“Soon, the people of Ynys Môn will have a chance to give a verdict on both the Conservatives record and Labour’s actions. Electing a Plaid Cymru MP is the best way to turn our disillusionment into positive action for the people of Ynys Môn.”