FIRST minister Mark Drakeford has said he would take a “very dim view” if he discovered parties had been held in Welsh Government buildings during the pandemic.

Following his Government’s weekly coronavirus update on Friday, the first minister was asked by journalists about parties which took place at Downing Street during lockdown.

Mr Drakeford said of the potential for something similar to have happened within Welsh Government buildings: “I’m not aware of any parties or anything of that sort.

“If there had been such an event, then I would take a very dim view of it.

“Time after time, I’ve come here to say that I believe that people who make the rules have a special obligation to make sure that they themselves are following the rules.

"That's how we try to conduct ourselves."

He accepted that public trust in politicians over Covid rules has been harmed because of the party, and aimed a thinly-veiled dig at the UK Government.

"When public figures who are part of making rules appear to believe that the rules don't apply to them, of course it damages public confidence," said Mr Drakeford.

"I hope people see the Welsh Government in a different light.

"It's vital they see that we have absolutely not been part of any culture that believes that somehow you are above and beyond the rules that apply to other people."

READ MORE: ​Up to 500 people can attend outdoor events in Wales from tomorrow

The prime minister is awaiting a report from senior official Sue Gray who is investigating the incident at Downing Street.

Mr Drakeford said he was "an admirer of (Ms Grey's) abilities", but condemned the fact the person put in charge of the inquiry is not independent of the UK Government.

"I know Sue Gray, I've been an admirer of her abilities when she worked in the Northern Ireland office," said Mr Drakeford.

"But my own view has been from the very beginning that the report into activities in Downing Street should have been given to somebody entirely independent of the UK Government.

"It should have been judge-led, or somebody in that independent position.

"I think Sue Gray has been put in a very challenging and pressurised position."


While the UK Government is under pressure over parties within Downing Street and Whitehall departments a year ago Senedd Members were under fire for drinking in the Welsh Parliament building while there was a ban on serving alcohol in Wales.

Though the three Consevative and one Labour Senedd Member hadn't broken any rules they were criticised for drinking alcohol in the Senedd members' tea room just days after the Welsh government prevented licensed premises from serving booze from December 4, 2020.

The get together, which was explained as a meeting to discuss possible for suppport for legislation back bench Labour MS Alun Davies was proposing, came to light in January 2021.

It led to Paul Davies resigning his position as Welsh Conservative leader, and Darren Millar his post as the Tory group chief whip.

Alun Davies was suspended from the Labour Senedd group for a short period.

It later emerged that the catering staff member was suspended from her job for seven months and was warned she could face prosecution and be interviewed under caution.

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