Naga Munchetty cuts off Wales’ First Minister during Indian variant chat

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty got into an in-depth chat with Wales' First Minister, Mark Drakeford on Friday morning's show.

Naga and Charlie Stayt were joined by Mr Drakeford to discuss Wales easing their lockdown restrictions further on Monday June 7.

And the hosts decided to quiz him on whether he was worried about the Indian variant affecting his plans to ease social distancing measures.

But when he tried to deflect from the question, Naga, 46, cut off Drakeford, 66, and told him that he wasn't answering her question.

The exchange came after Naga asked the politician why Wales was being more conservative when it came to easing lockdown restrictions in the country.

Drakeford responded: "We've always taken in Wales a careful, cautious step-by-step approach lifting restrictions when we think it's safe to do so.

"But not putting at risk all the things we've done to achieve together for the last few months. We're in a good position in Wales today.

"Our rates are the lowest in the United Kingdom and out vaccination rates are the highest in the world," he said before addressing the Indian variant.

"But, across our border, the Delta [Indian variant] variant is spreading very quickly. We know it is more transmissible."

"There are signs that it might create more people needing hospital treatment as a result. We will wait to see further evidence.

"Provided things are good, we will move ahead but we're not going to take risks that would mean that the very good position we're in today could be rapidly undermined."

Munchetty asked: "Do you think what's happening in England is going to undermine your efforts to ease restrictions?"

The First Minister replied: "Well, it's not for me to make decisions that are the responsibility of others."

As Drakeford tried to continue with his answer, Naga cut him off and said: "Absolutely and apologises for interrupting.

"Absolutely it's not your place to make decisions for England but you will be observing what's happening in England.

"And I'm thinking, particularly, the North-West where the hot spots are. You're seeing what the UK Government is doing and how's that affecting England.

"And your responsibility is to make sure it doesn't effect the citizens in Wales. Do you think what's happening in England is going to disproportionately and negatively impact on Wales?"

The First Minister replied: "We have to be realistic. The fact that the Delta variant is now spreading do quickly in the North-West of England will mean it will cross the border into Wales.

"The variant doesn't see the border and the amount of traffic that goes back and forth between the North-East of Wales and North-West of England is very high everyday.

"So, there is a very realistic prospect that we will see that variant spreading into Wales. That is why we are delaying some of the measures we might otherwise take to maximise the amount of vaccinations we can carry out.

"That is our best defence against the new variant and I'm quite sure in England, too, huge efforts are being made to offer vaccinations to more people and to build up those defences."

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