Why Mark Drakeford’s angry outburst shows how Westminster chaos is spilling over into Cardiff Bay

Although this may be the most that Mark Drakeford has lost his temper during his time as First Minister, it would be a mistake not to think of him as never displaying anger. 

Even though he mostly speaks in measured tones, he can be sharp and defensive in his responses and frequently raises his voice, even if not quite to the level he has today.

Only two weeks ago he was raising his voice in the chamber, again criticising the Welsh Conservatives for the chaotic handling of the UK economy by their fellow party members in Westminster. 

Shouting above loud barracking, the First Minister jabbed his finger towards the Tory benches, saying “I look forward to hearing from the leader of the opposition when he has his chance to be on his feet rather than shouting from where he is sitting.”

Then last week he drew theatrical gasps from Plaid Cymru MSs when he dismissed Adam Price’s calls to put up the pay of public sector workers in Wales by saying to the Plaid leader, “If all he has to offer me are pious aspirations and accusations that somehow other people are not as holy as he is, then I'm afraid that debate is hardly likely to prosper.”

When he was standing for the leadership of Welsh Labour in 2018, I asked Mark Drakeford what most people got wrong about him.

He told me, “I think they thing they get wrong most is that because I genuinely like people, to be in people's company and enjoy being with people that they maybe don't realise you don't get to do these jobs, you don't get to do what I've done without a certain bit of steel within you."

At that time and since, close colleagues and friends of Mark Drakeford’s have used a similar term to me - “core of steel.” 

He likes to work collegiately, they repeatedly told me, but when pushed opponents discover that core of steel. 

It’s a sign of the heightened politics of our time which is focussed on Westminster is spilling over into Cardiff Bay and showing itself in such open displays of anger. 

You can expect more of it too. Welsh Conservatives have long complained that Labour Welsh Ministers wriggle out of taking responsibility for things that are under their control. 

But given both the serious trouble the Conservative Party now finds it in, you can expect Welsh Labour to focus its fire on the uncertainty - and reduced public spending - that, that trouble is unleashing.

Welsh Government sources say the spending squeeze warned about by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will be "worse than [George Osborne's] austerity."

In turn, the Welsh Conservatives have long seen Labour's handling of the health service in Wales as one of their strongest attack points. 

So you can expect them to turn to it even more frequently because the damaged reputation of the party in Westminster has blunted many of their other regular criticisms.

The crisis engulfing the UK Government is fracturing politics at all levels and the splinters are making themselves felt in the Welsh Parliament as much as in the UK parliament.