The Assembly Member for Wrexham and Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, is facing a vote of no confidence in the Senedd from opposition AMs due to a row over a report into hospital reform.
There are claims that the author of an independent report on controversial plans regarding hospitals in Wales was involved in requests to “sharpen up” the document to support a specific viewpoint. Emails state that the author, Professor Longley, used phrases such as “evidence as presented does not seem to be as incisive as we might have hoped”, and other emails contain discussions with Longley stating “As we’ve discussed, a crucial piece in the jigsaw is the argument ‘we can’t stay as we are: just look at outcomes’. So far, so elusive!”.
Such comments prompted shadow health minister Darren Millar to describe the report as a ‘dodgy dossier’.
This claim was rejected by Mrs Griffiths who told AMs that the emails demonstrate that “the process around the preparation of the report is irreproachable”.
Lesley Griffiths said made her position clear telling AMs “I had no direct involvement in the formation of this report”.
When the report was lauched, Mrs Griffiths said “This report constitutes strong evidence from a clinical perspective – not a political one.”
Darren Miller said “We need to understand if the minister knew about how this report was being compiled. If she knew about the pressure that her officials were putting on Marcus Longley to produce a report which supported the changes which the minister wanted to make, then she has to go I’m afraid. It calls into question her integrity and her ability as a minister.”
Plaid Cymrus health spokeswoman Elin Jones also commented saying “It is very clear that a conclusion was decided on up front and the correspondence illustrates a desperate search for the evidence to substantiate that. The report has lost any credibility and is certainly not independent.”
The no confidence vote will be held on Wednesday 18th July, and the note can be found here on the Assembly website.
Aled Roberts (North Wales)
William Graham (South Wales East)
Jocelyn Davies (South Wales East)
The National Assembly for Wales has no confidence in the Minister for Health and Social Services