Farage Brands Welsh Leader a ‘Maniac’ for Blaming Public for Coronavirus

Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford speaks at a rally as Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigns for the general election in Swansea, south Wales on December 7, 2019. - Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Brexit leader Nigel Farage has called Wales’s left-wing first minister a “maniac” for blaming his own countrymen for the rise in coronavirus numbers, despite the Celtic country having some of the strictest lockdown laws of all of the United Kingdom’s home nations.

Labour’s Mark Drakeford, who is the leader of the devolved Welsh Assembly, the Senedd, had told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday that the numbers of confirmed cases were increasing “because, despite the strict rules we have here, fatigue, people’s sense of no hope for the future has meant that not everybody has been willing to abide by the restrictions that are still necessary.

“We have seen people having house parties, people inviting large numbers of people back to their own houses when that is absolutely not allowed within our rules.”

Reacting to the comments, Mr Farage said on Thursday: “The man is a maniac.”

Wales has around a third of the population density of England and a total population of just over three million, but saw itself subject to a draconian “firebreak” lockdown for 17 days between October and November at the hands of the regional government.

First Minister Drakeford imposed such measures as forcing all ‘non-essential’ shops — including many independent small stores — to close. Welsh lawmakers warned that with supermarkets and other retailers selling food still allowed to remain open, small businesses would suffer. Rather than allowing the small retailers to continue trading, Drakeford mandated that supermarkets be barred from selling ‘non-essential’ items.

Frustrated Welshmen shared their ire on social media at being unable to access bedding, kitchenware, and even babies’ clothes, with large sections of supermarkets in the western British nation being blocked off or covered in plastic sheets.

English police forces even engaged with their neighbour’s oppressive banishment of free movement, putting up checkpoints along the Welsh border to question drivers entering and exiting the country. Welsh forces also fined residents for taking supposedly unnecessary car journeys.

Wales imposed other restrictions later in November, including banning pubs from serving alcohol. In reaction, some 100 Welsh publicans barred the first minister from their establishments.

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