The First Minister has confirmed that he and the leaders of Scotland and Northern Ireland had argued in private for stronger action on construction sites than the UK Government.

It was reported at the weekend that last Monday's Cobra meeting saw tense exchanges over the issue between the Prime Minister, the devolved governments and the mayor of London.

Speaking on ITV Wales' Sharp End programme, Mark Drakeford said that 'all three other governments did argue for a stronger approach to construction.'

But he rejected my suggestion that that amounted to being overruled by Boris Johnson, saying that 'when you’re involved in four-way discussions you can’t expect that everybody will approach everything identically.'

The FM rejected the suggestion that Boris Johnson overruled the devolved governments. Credit: PA Images

The day after that Cobra meeting the First Minister told reportersthat 'I am clear in my mind that there are sites that are open today that do not need to be open' and promised clarity on that within 36 hours.

One week on, I understand that the delay behind that announcement is because the Welsh Government's lawyers are still trying to find a formula which allows essential work to continue.

This is how Mark Drakeford summed it up in my interview:

Here in Wales the advice is clear: construction sites must operate safely. If you’re not able to operate safely, if you can’t guarantee that people can maintain a social distance, for example, you should not continue and many construction sites in Wales have closed. But where, for example, we have work going on to repair houses that were flooded and to repair defenses against future flooding, we wouldn’t want to see that stop.

Mark Drakeford AM, First Minister

You can watch the full Sharp End programme here.

Many construction companies have contractural obligations to finish work. Credit: PA Images

The First Minister also described as 'disappointing' the failure of an apparent deal to supply tests to the Welsh NHS but he rejected my suggestion that Wales had been 'outbid' by another part of the UK.

Last week the Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced that 'a company with which we had a written agreement to provide tests is not able to honour that agreement.'

I asked the First Minister about that collapse. He echoed his Health Minister's disappointment.

The First Minister said the failure of a deal to supply tests to the Welsh NHS was 'disappointing.' Credit: PA Images

He said, ''We thought it was nailed down. It wasn’t just a verbal agreement it was a written document that we’d shared and both signed up to so it was a disappointment. We can make good for the tests that we are not getting by being part of a consortium of suppliers. It will take a short while longer but we’re talking days rather than weeks.''

However, when asked if the company has pulled out after receiving a better offer from another part of the UK, the First Minister said: ''I don’t think that’s the way things are operating. I’m very keen indeed that we work collectively and collaboratively across the united kingdom..''