Gordon Brown to advise Welsh Government on post-covid recovery plan

Gordon Brown is to advise the Welsh Government on its plans to help Wales recover from the coronavirus emergency.

The former Prime Minister will join an external advisory group due to be appointed by the Counsel General, Jeremy Miles who was put in charge of coordinating the recovery plan by the First Minister.

The Welsh Government says the advisory group is intended to enable ministers to draw on expertise from outside Wales as it works out how to plan for a post-crisis future.

They won't be paid for their work advising Welsh ministers which is I understand will be offered through a series of roundtable discussions.

It's remit is yet to be set, nor the length of time it'll be in place. According to the Welsh Government, 'the Wales Centre for Public Policy is providing a framework for the discussions.'

Mr Brown's appointment has been criticised by the Conservatives who've called it 'politicising' the recovery process and 'wheeling out a Labour Party has-been' while Plaid Cymru said it was worried he would bring 'ideological baggage' to an important task.

As well as Mr Brown, two other well-known names have been appointed.

Credit: Institute for Fiscal Studies

Paul Johnson is an academic and former civil servant best-known for his work with the respected economics think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies where he is now the director.

Credit: Committee for Climate Change

Doctor Rebecca Heaton is a senior executive with the energy generation company, the Drax Group and a member of the Committee on Climate Change which advises the UK Government.

On Tuesday, Mr Brown, who was premier between 2007 and 2010, called on US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to "step up to the plate" and pledge to join a multibillion-pound drive to prevent a second wave of coronavirus.

He insisted there was a "deadly urgency" about nations working together now to stop a second wave of the disease impacting on the world's poorest countries, and then returning to the rest of the globe.

Jeremy Miles is expected to give more details of the external advisory group when he takes the Welsh Government's daily press conference later today (Wednesday).

The Welsh Conservatives have criticised the appointment of Gordon Brown as 'wheeling out a Labour Party has-been.'

Plaid Cymru has welcomed the news that recovery planning is beginning but concerned that Mr Brown could bring 'ideological baggage.'