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Live Reporting

Alun Jones

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    The fifteenth FMQs of 2022 comes to a close.

    Thanks for following - join us again next week.

    The Senedd will once again be lit tonight in the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine’s flag as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine and its people.

    Senedd Cymru
  2. Configuration of hospital services

    The first minister defends the effectiveness of the current configuration of hospital services in the South Wales East region, adding "the model always needs to be kept under review; we've always got to be making sure that it's working as it is intended."

    He also promises that a bus service will run from Blackwood, Newbridge and Pontypool to the Grange Hospital from July.

    The 471-bed Grange hospital opened in November 2020, costing £358m to build
    Image caption: The 471-bed Grange hospital opened in November 2020, costing £358m to build
  3. Child safeguarding

    Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds says she is "very concerned about the situation in children's services in our local authorities."

    She asks "what support the government is providing to local authorities, such as Pembrokeshire, to ensure that services and robust infrastructure are in place, and what is available to provide support for those people who work so hard on behalf of our children?"

    The first minister refers to "the new guidelines and guidance we have drawn up to help people in front-line services, with the hard work that they're undertaking. We're working currently with our universities to see if there's more that we can do to draw in more people to the training courses that we have here in Wales to create a workforce for the future."

    Jane Dodds
    Image caption: Jane Dodds
  4. 'More than 6,000 job losses in Wales' warning

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price expresses concern about reports of the UK government wanting to cut up to 91,000 civil service jobs to save money.

    He warns a proportionate cut would lead to more than 6,000 job losses in Wales.

    "Is it any wonder that the Westminster government pulled its Bill on workers' rights from the Queen's Speech last week when it is behaving little better than P&O?" he asks.

    The first minister agrees on the potential impact, and says the UK government would find "a strong opponent" in the government he leads.

    He points out "the last time I had a discussion with any UK minister about civil service jobs, it was to hear that minister trumpet the intentions of the UK government to disperse civil service jobs around the country, and to bring more employment to Wales and other places outside London. What a different story this turns out to be in reality."

    Mark Drakeford also says in response to the Plaid Cymru leader that he "regrets" that a US evangelist will appear at a conference centre which is partly owned by the Welsh Government, but the government was not responsible for the venue's events. Franklin Graham - who called gay marriage a "sin" - is due to bring his God Loves You Tour to ICC Wales, in Newport, on Saturday. The centre is jointly owned by the government and the Celtic Manor resort. It cancelled an appearance by Mr Graham in 2020 because of his views on homosexuality.

    Mr Price says: "Mr Graham may be entitled to his homophobic beliefs but he is surely not entitled to be provided with a stage to air them at a convention centre that is 50% owned by the Welsh Government." He asks whether it sent out a message from Wales that "homophobia and hate are somehow still acceptable".

    The first minister says: "I regret the fact that the event to which Adam Price referred is going ahead, but the decision is not one for the Welsh Government.

    "We do not run that centre and it's for those who are responsible for it to make those decisions.

    "I'm sorry to see a person of those views given a platform to express them here in Wales and they absolutely do not reflect anything the Welsh Government would be prepared to endorse or sanction."

    Adam Price
    Image caption: Adam Price
  5. 'Crisis in the food sector'

    "There is no crisis in the supply of food," insists the first minister, debating with Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, who says "there is a crisis in the food sector".

    Mr Davies points out that the Bank of England governor yesterday warned of "apocalyptic" food price rises.

    The first minister replies there is a difference between a rise in the cost of food and a lack of supply, but he does acknowledge "inflationary pressures".

    Mr Davies says the UK government has brought forward the window for paying the basic payment scheme for farmers in England to July "so that that cash flow pressure can be alleviated" and calls on the Welsh Government to take similar action in Wales.

    The first minister replies "the Welsh Government's record of payment of BPS is, as the Leader of the Opposition will know, the best in the United Kingdom and has been for many years".

    Andrew RT Davies
    Image caption: Andrew RT Davies
  6. First minister attends plenary remotely from London

    Conservative James Evans raises concerns about NHS waiting times in Powys and accuses Mr Drakeford of wanting to squander millions on more politicians - cash he says would be better spent on more nurses.

    Mark Drakeford accuses Mr Evans of "cheap shot politics" and says the health board is working very hard and successfully to reduce waiting times.

    Mark Drakeford
    Image caption: Mark Drakeford
  7. Facing increasing energy costs

    The Llywydd (presiding officer) Elin Jones conducts a ballot to determine the names of members who may table questions to the first minister and Welsh ministers. Each member may enter their name into a ballot.

    Conservative Russell George asks how is the Welsh Government supporting households who are facing increasing energy costs.

    From last month a rise in the UK energy price cap means the typical household will pay £693 a year more for electricity and gas.

    First Minister Mark Drakeford refers to the Warm Homes programme and a £150 cost of living payment to households in properties in council tax bands A to D.

    Mr George expresses concern about the eligibility criteria of the winter fuel support scheme.

    The first minister replies his government is "looking at extending its eligibility" and will seek to address any anomalies.

    Energy
  8. Croeso

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the fifteenth session of First Minister's Questions in 2022.

    The meeting is held in a hybrid format, with some members in the Siambr (Senedd chamber) and others joining by video-conference.

    Many will remember that it is exactly five years since the death of former First Minister Rhodri Morgan at the age of 77.

    He was described as the most popular politician of his generation.

    He served as first minister and Welsh Labour leader from 2000 until he stepped down in 2009.

    Rhodri Morgan stabilised Welsh devolution after its rocky first year
    Image caption: Rhodri Morgan stabilised Welsh devolution after its rocky first year
    Rhodri Morgan leaving the Senedd chamber as he stepped down as a member in 2011
    Image caption: Rhodri Morgan leaving the Senedd chamber as he stepped down as a member in 2011

    Video content

    Video caption: Rhodri Morgan: 'Charismatic, intelligent, controversial'