Mark Drakeford slams gross violation as meeting leak sparks fear of Welsh lockdown

Mark Drakeford addresses Christmas lockdown claims

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Mr Drakeford erupted when asked by a reporter on Friday about reports in the Guido Fawkes blog which suggested the Welsh First Minister privately demanded a lockdown between Christmas and New Year during a phone call that involved Michael Gove and other First Ministers including Nicola Sturgeon.

When asked if and why he reportedly called for a lockdown, Mr Drakeford appeared to lose his cool.

He told the reporter that he was not going to be drawn into a conversation “on distorted accounts of a meeting”.

Mr Drakeford added: “Those accounts are a gross violation of the rules under which those meetings are conducted!

“And where the motivation of whoever it was that carried out that gross violation was simply to cause a distraction…

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“From the many, many difficulties the UK government has experienced this week!”

He slammed he was “not going to be drawn into that game” as he attempted to dispel rumours of his alleged demands.

Despite the leak, Mr Drakeford announced on Friday at a press conference that there will be weekly reviews covid rules in Wales.

That means there will be two reviews before Christmas, leaving open the potential for rule changes.

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The Welsh First Minister added that he and minister will be monitoring the spread of the Omicorn variant in Wales closely as he revealed he is ready to put in “additional protections” in response to further spread of the virus.

Mask wearing has also been demanded in pubs and restaurants when people are not eating.

The demands come as Wales has also encouraged citizens to test themselves for the virus before leaving the house.

Four more Omicron cases were recorded in Wales on Firday meaning there are now 13 cases in the country.

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Wales is not following Plan B rules to England but the restrictions are similar.

Despite the steps to prevent the spread, Mr Drakeford warned Wales is likely to be a week behind the rest of the UK in terms of Omicorn prevalence in the community.

It comes as the UK reported a further 58,194 additional covid cases in the last 24-hours, the highest figure since January.

A further 120 deaths were reported.

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