WELSH people were treated like “second-class citizens” by the UK Government during the pandemic, an inquiry has heard from the Welsh Labour health minister.

Baroness Eluned Morgan – who took over the role from Vaughan Gething during the latter part of the pandemic – told the UK Covid-19 inquiry hearing on Tuesday that people in Wales felt ignored by Westminster.

She made the comment while addressing questions about the firebreak – a short, two-week lockdown in October 2020 – and the UK Government’s refusal to help fund keeping it in place for longer.

The National: Eluned Morgan

Morgan (above) said: “We were really concerned about the financial ability, the firepower, of the Welsh Government at the time to be able to sustain a lockdown for as long as was necessary.

“The scientists were suggesting we should be doing it for three weeks, I think we didn’t have the economic power to maintain a three-week firebreak.”

She said it was “really disappointing” that the UK Government was “not forthcoming in terms of financial support”.

“Then two weeks later, when they wanted to go into a firebreak, they suddenly announced a different approach.

“I think that was a very difficult time for us as a nation because I think people felt like we were second-class citizens in the context of the UK Government.”

Joanne Cecil, counsel to the inquiry, also showed the hearing several of Morgan’s text and email messages from the pandemic.

This included one to a colleague soon after she had taken up the health minister role which said, “we are all f****d” and another to the health minister of Northern Ireland which saying, “We are doomed”.

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Morgan apologised for her “fruity language” and said it would not “go down very well with her husband, who is a priest”.

She said the message came quite early on in her appointment and followed discussions about opening up the borders to travellers from France on the same day another meeting heard that the country should be put on the “red” restricted list.

“I just found that a massive contradiction and very worrying,” she said.

Like other Welsh Government ministers, including Gething who appeared on Monday, Morgan was asked why some of her messages were deleted.

She said: “I don’t know quite why or when but clearly there were only a couple of examples where that happened.”

The inquiry also saw sections of her notebooks which showed her questioning if Matt Hancock was “hopeless” and the “Prime Minister – chaos”.

The inquiry continues.