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Embarrassment for Labour as First Minister contradicts MPs

17/01/2022

The Labour First Minister has openly contradicted his own party’s Welsh MPs after they voted to support the use of the private sector in the NHS.

A Westminster opposition motion, supported by 23 of Labour’s Welsh MPs, endorsed the private sector playing an important role in the delivery of NHS care. However, during Questions in the Senedd, the First Minister refused to say whether the MPs’ view was the official Labour view.

Plaid Cymru’s Health spokesperson Elin Jones said:

“Labour’s MPs have made a clear statement of support for bringing the private sector into the NHS. Given that 23 of them voted in favour of privatisation on Monday night, it is a little odd that the First Minister was unwilling to say whether they were representing Labour’s official policy. The First Minster appeared clearly embarrassed by his own party’s action in Westminster and that’s hardly surprising.

“Plaid Cymru believes that there is no role for the private sector within the Welsh NHS, and we fundamentally disagree with Labour’s view that there is an important role for the private sector in delivering NHS services.”

Hywel Williams MP Plaid’s Health spokesman at Westminster added:

“The Labour motion was clear. It stated that ‘this House believes there is an important role for the private sector in supporting delivery of NHS care…’

“It went on to say that Labour welcomed the contribution of the private sector in reducing waiting times.

“The Shadow Secretary of State also repeatedly said that he was in favour of private provision within the NHS. His dispute with the government was about the proportion of NHS work the private sector should do and this is the policy that Welsh Labour MPs supported.

“Does this Labour policy apply to Wales? Or were Welsh Labour MPs saying something in London to please their whips and hoping no one in Cardiff would notice, not even the First Minister!”