Drakeford's branding of Johnson as 'really awful' reveals his 'fixation with politics'

First Minister Mark Drakeford described Prime Minister Boris Johnson as "really, really awful" in a documentary. Credit: PA Images

The First Minister has been accused of being "fixated with politics" throughout the pandemic, after he was heard describing the Prime Minister as "really, really awful".

Footage of Mark Drakeford making the remarks after a COBRA conference call with Boris Johnson in December last year was released in an S4C documentary.

Following its airing on Sunday, the Welsh Secretary said the comment is "revealing" about Mr Drakeford's commitment to the United Kingdom.

Simon Hart said it made him question whether Mr Drakeford "is really committed to trying to achieve UK-wide progress on some of the really important challenges that we face".

Mr Hart also said that he hopes Mr Drakeford now "slightly regrets" the clip, which he added was "depressing".

Simon Hart said the remarks made him question Mr Drakeford's seriousness in leading Wales through the pandemic. Credit: PA Images

During an online press conference, he told journalists: "I've sat in on numerous calls chaired either by Boris Johnson or by Michael Gove, and at no stage in the margins of those meetings have I ever heard either of them be anything other than courteous to Nicola Sturgeon, the Northern Ireland executive, or ministers from Welsh Government.

"And it's not because they agree with them, it's not even necessarily because they have much in common. It's because, when all is said and done, you respect the position.

"I just thought it was slightly depressing, and it made me question just how serious the First Minister was being about leading the country though a pandemic, or whether he's actually fixated with politics.

"And I thought that there was more fixation with politics than I found appropriate, and rather too little commitment to actually doing the things that ultimately we're all there to do, which is to try and get through this pretty awful time for everybody and get out the other side with as much of our community and economy intact as we could.

"I hope that he slightly regrets that clip ending up in the public domain."

Mr Hart also said Mr Drakeford had "spent quite a lot of time complaining about lack of engagement with the PM, and then is filmed having engagement with the PM".

"And so you can't really have it both ways," he added.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd Andrew RT Davies has also criticised Mr Drakeford's comments, saying they were not "a good look" for him.

The comments were made during Mr Johnson and Mr Drakeford's first meeting in three months. Credit: PA Images

The meeting, which appeared on Prif Weinidog Mewn Pandemig (First Minister in a Pandemic), was the first between Mr Drakeford and Mr Johnson in three months.

It was held to discuss closing the border between France and the UK.

In the programme, Boris Johnson is heard saying: "Thanks everybody for joining this call. I think we must urgently look at the implications of the travel ban that some of our European friends have imposed.

"We will hear from Mark Drakeford and…various others."

The First Minister appears to laugh at this and, when the meeting was over, said: "Dear me, he really, really is awful."

Mr Drakeford adds: "Imagine that some deadly new variant of the virus had been discovered in France and they were trying to persuade us that there was no need to take any action to stop French lorry drivers from driving across the continent."

Mr Drakeford told the Welsh Affairs Committee last week he believed the UK "is over" and a new union should be crafted to reflect a "voluntary association of four nations".