Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

First Minister branded arrogant ahead of no confidence vote

04 Jun 2024 4 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Ben Birchall

Emily Price

First Minister Vaughan Gething has been branded “arrogant” during a rowdy session in the Senedd today where he told politicians he is “confident” he can defeat a vote of no confidence.

It comes the day before Senedd politicians debate whether the embattled First Minister should remain in office following weeks of rows over donations and the sacking of a junior minister.

Mr Gething has faced criticism over a £200,000 donation he accepted from a company owned by a convicted polluter during his campaign to become Welsh Labour Leader.

It was the largest donation to an individual politician in Welsh political history.

Millionaire businessman David Neal received two suspended prison sentences for dumping toxic sludge at a conservation site ministers were trying to protect.

He is currently facing action over a separate incident regarding noxious fumes emanating from a landfill site in Haverfordwest which is causing public health concerns.

Earlier this week, the First Minister dodged questions put to him by the BBC on whether he knew the company was under a criminal probe when he accepted the cash.

Investigation

During First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday (June 4) Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies asked Mr Gething to confirm exactly when he found out about the criminal investigation.

The First Minister said he wasn’t aware until reports surfaced in the media.

Mr Davies reminded Mr Gething of the confidence motion set to take place in the Senedd tomorrow and asked whether he thought he could win.

The First Minister said he was “confident” about the outcome.

He also made a point of characterising the no confidence vote as “non-binding” because it will take place in opposition time.

At this comment, jeers broke out in the Chamber with one Senedd Member shouting: “Arrogant! Arrogant!”

‘Lost confidence’

Plaid Cymru Leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth suggested the comment could signal that the First Minister won’t be taking the vote seriously if it goes against him.

He said the office of the First Minister had been undermined “to such an extent” that the people of Wales had lost confidence in him.

Mr ap Iorwerth asked Mr Gething why he had declined the offer of a £200,000 loan from a Labour colleague so he could return the tainted cash.

The First Minister said he wouldn’t be able to pay such a large sum back.

He said: “I understand the Member wants to make an alternative case that, regardless of not breaking rules, that I should nevertheless suffer the ‘ultimate price’ in political terms.

“The idea that votes of no confidence are not commonplace is just not borne out by any cursory examination of the Record. There have been 3 votes of no confidence within this Senedd term.

“Every Health Minister has faced a vote of no confidence at some point in time. So, this is part and parcel of what happens. I look forward to responding to the debate tomorrow.”

He reiterated that he had followed the Labour party’s rules and the ministerial code when he accepted the donation.

The Plaid Cymru Leader asked the First Minister to confirm whether he plans to continue in office even if the a no confidence vote went against him.

Mr Gething replied saying he is “focused” on turning a page for Wales on July 4.

iMessage

The confidence motion tabled by the Tories for Wednesday evening (June 5) also raises the issue of sacked junior minister, Hannah Blythyn.

The First Minister removed Ms Blythyn from his Cabinet after he accused her of leaking a portion of a ministerial group chat to Nation.Cymru.

The chat was used during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The then Health Minister told his ministerial colleagues he was deleting messages because they could be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.

The revelation led to calls for the First Minister to be recalled to the UK Covid Inquiry to give further information on what took place in the deleted discussion.

Calls have also been made for the First Minister to produce evidence that confirms Ms Blythyn is the source of the leak.

She has denied the allegations completely saying her “integrity” remains intact.

Mr Gething says the evidence includes information sensitive to other members.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
12 days ago

Well done Nation Cymru for reporting on the disgraceful performance of Gething in the Senedd. Time and time again he was allowed to get away with being unpleasant and rude. It made the Senedd look a bit tinpot. ‘Mr ap Iorwerth asked Mr Gething why he had declined the offer of a £200,000 loan from a Labour colleague so he could return the tainted cash’. I do not understand this at all. Is he saying a Labour member has a spare £200,000 just to give to Gething? Again the wrong question is being asked by Rhun. He should be saying… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago

Branded !

Why vote
Why vote
12 days ago

Keeping this man as leader of wales let alone the labour party will have long lasting consequences for the senedd for decades. Members of the senedd you do know what to do with a hot brick? You drop it quickly.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
12 days ago

We will find out if any labour Senedd members have any principles or integrity and vote with the tories, Plaid Cymru and lib-dem or will they stick two fingers up towards the people of Cymru and vote to support their disgraceful leader!

John Ellis
John Ellis
11 days ago

First Minister Vaughan Gething has been branded “arrogant” during a rowdy session in the Senedd today …’

Personally I came to exactly that conclusion once I’d heard Mr Gething’s early responses when the issue of that amazingly large donation to his campaign fund was first raised with him. Previously I’ve never had much time for Andrew R.T. Davies, but on this issue I find myself oddly supportive of his persistent probing of the matter.

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 days ago

Branding is what you do to farm animals and slaves on plantations, hardly appropriate language for the 21st century and should be reworded. I could say “witch hunt” but that’s even more ancient history.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.