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Covid bereaved group urges Labour members not to elect Vaughan Gething

28 Jan 2024 4 minute read
Then Health Minister Vaughan Gething conducting a press conference during the Covid pandemic

Martin Shipton

A group that represents the relatives of people who died of Covid-19 has urged Labour Party members not to back Vaughan Gething in the Welsh Labour leadership contest.

Mr Gething, now the Economy Minister, was Health Minister during the pandemic.

In a thread on social media channel X, formerly known as Twitter, the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru has posted a series of posts that say: “For those @WelshLabour members privileged to be voting for the next First Minister. When you meet with the 2 candidates do ask them how they are preparing for the next pandemic & their response plan.

“We all know @vaughangething did nothing to prepare for any pandemic in Wales whilst Health Minister even though that was his job. Here’s a reminder of his woeful, embarrassing & upsetting testimony in @covidinquiryuk below.”

UK Covid Inquiry

The thread then includes part of Mr Gething’s evidence to the UK Covid Inquiry during which he admitted that he hadn’t read crucial reports that could have helped the Welsh Government be better prepared in advance of the Covid outbreak.

The thread continues: “You’ll also get a 2nd chance to hear him give evidence in Feb/March when the @covidinquiryuk comes to Cardiff. According to his leadership PR campaign rather than fail in his duty as Health Minister he should be applauded! Fortunately we’re here to provide the facts. So if you are in any doubt about his ability to lead Wales & can’t wait until after he’s given evidence in Cardiff let’s go through his Covid pandemic response charge sheet.”

The thread then includes a number of bullet points which suggest Mr Gething made a series of poor judgements:

* Mar & Apr 2020 – 1097 patients discharged from hospitals to care homes without a test in Wales.

* 14 Apr 2020 – [UK Government Health Secretary Matt Hancock brought in Covid testing before discharge in England

* 29 Apr 2020 @vaughangething took another 2 weeks to start testing before discharge. Why the delay?

* 28 Apr 2020, UK Government announced Covid testing would be extended to all staff and residents in England, even for those who did not have symptoms.

* 16 May 2020 – over 2 weeks later than England @vaughangething brought in wide scale Covid testing in care homes for patients and staff. Why the delay? *Nov 2020 – UK Gov brought in regular testing of healthcare workers

* From Mar 2021- @vaughangething brought in regular testing for healthcare workers in Wales 4 months later than England. So for an additional 4 months asymptomatic & pre-symptomatic health care workers were working in hospitals unknowingly transmitting Covid. Why the 4 month delay?

* Each of his decisions to delay these agreed mitigations resulted in 1000s of preventable deaths in Wales. He had his chance to protect the people of Wales when it was a matter of life & death & failed. Don’t give him the opportunity to fail again. Please use your vote carefully. Thank you.”


A spokeswoman for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru said: “Our intervention is not about being anti-Welsh Labour or racist. It’s about being pro-doing your job with honesty, integrity and candour.

“Depending which way you look at it, it’s either fortunate or unfortunate that voting in the leadership contest coincides with the only bit of the UK Covis Inquiry that’s taking place in Wales.”

Voting in the leadership contest between Mr Gething and Education Minister Jeremy Miles will open on February 16 and conclude on March 14. The result of the election will be announced on March 16.

The evidence sessions in Cardiff for the UK Covid Inquiry will take place between February 27 and March 14.

Mr Gething was invited to respond but has not done so.

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5 months ago

He was shocking in that enquiry. He was even worse as Health Minister. Quite how any sane individual comes to the conclusion that releasing elderly people from hospital into residential homes without first testing for Covid at the height of a pandemic is fine is unbelivable. Should be criminal. It was total carnage. I will never forgive him for that.

Richard E
Richard E
5 months ago

O dear – this race seems to be heading for the bottom 🥹. Most folk in Wales who are interested- I guess feel we need an inclusive and listening First Minister who understands all of Wales and has a track record of supporting our culture and community needs certainly not a mouth piece for Keir S .

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
5 months ago

Anyone but Gething I say. Useless

5 months ago

Just another first class example of a blunderer. Loads of them to be found in politics here in Wales and wider UK.

5 months ago

So the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru say that each of Vaughan Gething’s decisions (that they note on Twitter) “resulted in 1000s of preventable deaths in Wales”. There is frankly a zero evidence to back up this claim.

As for them not “being anti-Welsh Labour”. I would suggest having a look at their Twitter trolling account and making up your own mind.

BTW for any future pandemics they are on record as wanting more/most decisions to be made in London not Cardiff. That decision was made after studying Boris Johnson’s leadership!

5 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

BFJC would show more integrity if they were critical of the decision making and general behaviours of both London and Cardiff regimes. “Lessons were learned”, were they ? Perhaps, but won’t have a lasting impact on either regime or much of the public at large.

5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Clearly I sympathise with anyone who has suffered a loss, but it must be said that their Twitter account is little more than a collection of rants, trolling and unevidenced accusations.

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