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Cabinet Secretary accused of ‘chopsing’ during stormy FMQs

09 Jul 2024 3 minute read
L: First Minister Vaughan Gething – R: Andrew RT Davies

Emily Price

First Minister Vaughan Gething and the leader of the Senedd Tories Andrew RT Davies have locked horns in the Senedd in chaotic scenes that saw a Cabinet Secretary accused of ‘chopsing’.

Mr Gething branded the Tory leader an “arsonist” and accused him of “deliberate deception” during an explosive row which broke out during FMQs on Tuesday (July 9).

In return, Mr Davies taunted the First Minister for standing in the Chamber with “a vote of no confidence around his neck”.

The stormy exchange was triggered by a question from the Welsh Conservatives on the future of the steel giant Tata.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer visited the Senedd on Monday (July 8) amid worries for employees at the steel plant in Port Talbot where thousands of worker are facing redundancy.

Mr Davies asked if a plan had been put to the Tata board by the new Labour government and quizzed the FM on whether any investment will be linked to the continuation of blast furnaces which are set to be closed down.

The First Minister hit out at the Tory leader dubbing him “an arsonist with his matches angrily shouting at the fire brigade”.

Damage

He said: “We are now trying to rescue the damage and the dereliction from your 14 years across the UK. I will not take a single breath of lecturing from you or any other Conservative on our ambition to the commitment to the future of steel.”

Taking umbrage with the term an “arsonist” and claims from the FM that he had deliberately misled the Senedd, Mr Davies hit back raising the various controversies surrounding the embattled First Minister’s tumultuous tenure.

Mr Gething has been embroiled in several rows since he won the Labour leadership race over donations to his campaign and messages he deleted from a ministerial chat during the height of the pandemic.

He took a huge sum from businessman David Neal, a twice convicted polluter who dumped toxic sludge in a sensitive wetlands site in the Gwent Levels that politicians were fighting to protect.

Mr Davies said: “You are a First Minister who took £200,000 from man with two criminal convictions. You are a man who has stood there week in and week out unable to answer questions put to you about donations.”

Despite many Senedd Members calling out around the chamber during the row, the Tory Senedd leader appeared to target Cabinet Secretary for Health Eluned Morgan accusing her of “chopsing away from the front bench” prompting the Llywydd to intervene.

Cutting across Mr Davies, Presiding Officer Elin Jones said: “Hold on, hold on, chopsing away is probably not respectful enough to discuss… she was making comments as absolutely every single one of you are in this Chamber at the moment.”

The First Minister said that for “all the shouting and finger pointing” the leader of the opposition hadn’t been listening to what he had been saying.

He said: “I do not believe that any of the member’s words or angry protestations will carry any impact for steel communities.

“The know who has been on their side and who still is on their side and they know where he rests in the equation.”


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Lolly Mountjoy
Lolly Mountjoy
5 days ago

Neither Labour or Tories have credible leaders I suggest they take lessons off Plaids Leader

Annibendod
Annibendod
5 days ago

Two dreadful leaders. The Senedd will be all the better for their resignations.

Welshman28
Welshman28
5 days ago

Labour & Gething know that there will be redundancies as agreed by Tata but he’s playing with words making out Labour are trying to do a deal to stop that when he 100% knows they will take place . Labours business minister on Sunday told BBC that redundancies will have to be accepted with the plant be modernised when question again he said that they were in discussions with Tata for future steel making. He said NOTHING about those jobs going now. They are leading steelworkers up a garden path blaming the Conservative government for all this. BUT remember gething… Read more »

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