Wales’ health minister has “no authority” and should step down after a damning report into a health board, according to Plaid Cymru.

The Welsh nationalist party has called for the Labour first minister, Mark Drakeford, to sack Eluned Morgan as Plaid holds its spring conference.

A report into the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in the north of the country found “deeply worrying dysfunctionality” within the board’s leadership, prompting the Welsh government to say the health board would be put back into special measures.

It had previously been in special measures between 2015 and 2020 and opposition parties have argued that it should never have been taken out.

The independent members of the board have also been asked to step down in light of the report.

Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price, addressing the party’s conference in Llanelli as the party calls for the health minister to be removed

Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth, had said that Ms Morgan has “no authority” and that the first minister should now act.

The fresh pressure comes after Ms Morgan told Sky News this week she would continue to “serve the people of Wales to the best of [her] ability”.

“I don’t run the health board, that is the job of the health board,” she said.

“I ask them to meet particular targets but the job of running a health board is the health board’s responsibility and they have to take responsibility here and that’s what we’ve done today is to make sure that people understand where accountability lies,” she added.

But before his speech to the Plaid Cymru conference in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, on Saturday, Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “The people of Wales have lost faith in the health minister.

“Time and again, she’s evaded scrutiny and shifted blame onto others when challenged with the disastrous outcomes of her own policies.”

“It’s clear Eluned Morgan no longer has that authority. If she’s not willing to take responsibility now, the first minister should do the right thing on behalf of the people of Wales, and remove his health minister,” he added.

Read more:
‘Great deal more to do’ on Betsi, says Drakeford
Wales’ nurses could go on strike again

‘Not going to deliver’

Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price, told Sky News at his party’s conference: “We engage with the government on areas outside of the cooperation agreement regularly, through a whole variety of channels and we will continue to do so.

“They can be in no doubt what our position is. We have been absolutely consistent over many years that we felt that Betsi Cadwaladr’s structure simply was not going to be able to deliver the kind of service that the people of North Wales need.”

The Welsh government say this is a matter for the Welsh Labour party. Sky News has approached Welsh Labour for comment.

Mhairi Black (left), with Liz Saville-Roberts, leader of the Plaid Cymru group in Westminster and Adam Price, Plaid Cymru leader.
Mhairi Black (left), with Liz Saville-Roberts, leader of the Plaid Cymru group in Westminster and Adam Price, Plaid Cymru leader

Elsewhere at the Plaid conference on Friday, SNP MP Mhairi Black accused former SNP leader Alex Salmond of “below the belt politics” for his intervention in the Scottish party’s leadership race.

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