UK Politics – BBC News

UK Politics – BBC News

The Welsh Government has been accused of avoiding scrutiny over how it is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Leader of the Welsh Conservative group in the Senedd, Paul Davies, has written to the first minister, saying there are growing concerns over a lack of transparency during a time of national emergency.

In recent weeks the Welsh assembly has been closed due to the outbreak, and the Senedd has been meeting virtually over video conference to question ministers, in a UK first for a parliament.

But the Tories claim outside of the weekly plenary sessions, Welsh Labour ministers are not urgently answering assembly members questions on how the outbreak is affecting Wales.

AM for Aberconwy Janet Finch-Saunders, who is the Tories health spokeswoman in the assembly, said AMs’ written questions to ministers were being replied to with standard responses, saying the minister would “write as soon as possible”.

Mrs Finch-Saunders said the government had a “recent unhealthy aversion to scrutiny”.

“Whilst I appreciate the tremendous strains that all Welsh ministers are currently under, proper checks and balances must be upheld if we are to maintain confidence in our public institutions.,” she said.

“With increased restrictions on plenary contributions and a limit to how many written questions we can submit, it is recklessly irresponsible for Welsh ministers to avoid submitting full and proper replies to questions.

“With great swathes of public money at stake, including an additional funding package of £350m for Wales, it is paramount that the Welsh Government remains open and transparent in the decisions it is taking.”

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