Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Gething loses vote of no confidence

05 Jun 2024 6 minute read
Vaughan Gething reacts to comments from one of his supporters during the no-confidence debate in the Senedd

Vaughan Gething, the embattled First Minister, has lost a vote of no confidence tabled by the Welsh Conservatives.

The motion follows the collapse of the co-operation deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru and a series of scandals involving Mr Gething.

The motion is non-binding and will not force Mr Gething to stand aside from his role as First Minister, but the result will be highly embarrassing for him.

Ahead of the vote, Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, offered his support for the FM, accusing Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives of “game playing”.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies opened the debate by insisting it was “not a gimmick” and that the people of Wales were concerned about the FM’s leadership.

Disrespect

Mr Davies accused the FM of showing “massive disrespect” to the people of Wales by not publishing the evidence showing why he sacked Hannah Blythyn, a government minister, who he accused of leaking messages to the media.

He added: “This is not a gimmick, this is a motion put down in opposition time that might well not be binding, but will send a significant message on the transparency, the honesty and the judgment call of the First Minister since he assumed office.”

Paul Davies, the member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, called for Mr Gething to step down and “do the right thing”, as he did in 2021, when he resigned as Conservative leader after being accused of breaking Covid-19 rules.

He said: “As politicians, we all have to be held accountable for our decisions, and I more than most know from personal experience what it’s like to be held accountable for one’s actions.

“When a standards commissioner investigated allegations against me during the pandemic, I’d like to think I did the right thing by my party and my country, I stepped down as leader of the Welsh Conservatives in this place, because it was the right thing to do.”

Race

Members of the Labour group stood behind their leader, with Hefin David, the member for Caerphilly, questioning if the vote was due to Mr Gething’s race, with the FM being the first black leader of any European country.

He said: “I, as an observer, have the right to ask if his ethnicity has an influence on the motives of some of those outside of this Chamber who seek to break him on the wheel.

“We cannot ignore that question, and we cannot dismiss the lived experience of BAME (black Asian minority ethnic) people who feel it to be the case.”

Labour’s Joyce Watson, MS for Mid and West Wales, told the opposition groups she will “never forgive you” for bringing the vote forward on D-Day, which prevented Mr Gething from attending a commemorative event in Portsmouth.

Regret

Mr Gething told the Senedd: “I regret the motion because it is designed to question my integrity.

“Like so many of you in this chamber, I have dedicated my adult life to public services and to Wales.

“Even in the midst of an election campaign, it does hurt deeply when my intentions are questioned.”

He added: “If that party had genuine concern for the integrity of devolution and democracy in Wales, then they would do well to look to their own benches before casting the first stone.

“To demand of anyone else standards they have no intention of meeting themselves.”

MSs voted 29 in favour, 27 against the motion of no confidence in Mr Gething, a majority of two.

Following the vote, the Llywydd, presiding officer, Elin Jones said: “It is now for the first minister to reflect on the view that the Senedd has just expressed and the motion that has been agreed.

“Confidence motions are political yes, but they are also intensely personal and while a vote of this nature will have consequences whatever they may be, I ask us all to treat each other with respect and kindness now.”

Scandal

Mr Gething, who has been the Welsh Labour leader since March, faced the no-confidence vote after being plagued by scandal during his short time in office.

Concerns were raised after Mr Gething accepted a donation from a man convicted of environmental offences during his run to be Welsh Labour leader.

Mr Gething has also refused to show any evidence to explain why he sacked Hannah Blythyn from his government, after he accused her of leaking messages. The First Minister’s decision followed a Nation.Cymru article which featured a message posted to a ministerial group chat in August 2020 by Mr Gething, stating that he was “deleting the messages in this group”.

He said the leaked message was from a section of an iMessage group chat with other Labour ministers and related to internal discussions within the Senedd Labour group.

He told the UK Covid-19 Inquiry that lost WhatsApp messages were not deleted by him, but by the Welsh Parliament’s IT team during a security rebuild.

Mr Gething has always insisted that all rules were followed when he took the donation and denied the leaked message contradicted the evidence he had given to the inquiry, adding that it did not relate to pandemic decision-making but “comments that colleagues make to and about each other”.

Resign

Speaking after the vote, Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “The Senedd has spoken on behalf of the people of Wales – we have no confidence in the Labour First Minister.

“Without every Labour member backing him in tonight’s vote, Vaughan Gething must do the honourable thing and resign to ensure no further instability at the heart of the Labour Welsh Government.

“His government is clearly in disarray and as such is unable to face the significant challenges ahead for Wales.

“By honouring the result of the vote, Welsh Government and our Senedd can move on from this regretful episode.”

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd said: “Vaughan Gething has lost the confidence of the people of Wales.

“He has lost the confidence of the Senedd.

“The only person who is still batting for Vaughan Gething is Keir Starmer.”

the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said: “The Senedd has spoken and now Vaughan Gething must go.

“Any attempts of holding onto power would go against the established norms of our parliamentary democracy.

“Without the mandate of the Senedd, the First Minister has no right to stay in office, Welsh democracy has had its say and now he must go.”


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
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Linda Jones
Linda Jones
1 day ago

If Gething has any integrity he will now resign but he wont.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 day ago

Water off a duck’s back. Best set a goshawk or a peregrine on him.

Simon Hobson
Simon Hobson
1 day ago

If Welsh Labour care about Cymru / Wales, now is the time that they think of our country and the reputation of the Senedd. Vaughan Gething brought scandal to the job of First Minister and has demonstrated that he has a history of poor judgment. If Mr. Gething won’t step down by his own free will then the Labour Party must force him to resign.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
22 hours ago
Reply to  Simon Hobson

Let them support him… it’s high time Labour’s stranglehold on Cymru was dismantled.

John Davies
John Davies
1 day ago

I don’t think he can carry on as if nothing has happened after a no confidence vote. In theory maybe, as it was non-binding. But in practice he is now deeply damaged.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
22 hours ago
Reply to  John Davies

The fact that he, his party and Starmer have chosen to do exactly that during a UK-wide election and a month after the same party helped oust the First Minister of Scotland on another “non-binding vote”, calls into question their judgement and sheer hypocrisy.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 day ago

With First Minister Vaughan Gething losing his confidence vote today in the Senedd chamber, and only recently saw UK Labour leader Keir Starmer gave his full support to Gething on his rare visit to his Cardiff branch office even though he knew he our First Minister accepted £200,000 donation from a twice convicted environmental vandal, baring in mind Starmer like a stuck record continually states his environmental credentials as done yesterday when he said so during the first Sunak vrs Starmer election debate and how he’s a green activist to his core, a tad hypocritical I feel. And less we… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by Y Cymro
Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 day ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

You have to take anything and everything mr keir starmer says with a large serving of salt, he is as bad as boris johnson, with how he lies and deceives people!

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 day ago

Gobeithio y bydd e’n ddigon haerllug i aros yn ei swydd tan yr etholiad gyffredinol ar 4ydd Gorffennaf. Efallai bydd hynny’n annog rhai o bleidleisiwyr Llafur yng Nghymru bwrw eu pleidleisiau tros Blaid Cymru… ~ I hope that he will be sufficiently arrogant to remain in the job until the general election on 4th July. Maybe that will encourage some Welsh Labour voters to cast their vote for Plaid Cymru.

Why vote
Why vote
1 day ago

He put on a good show crying in the senedd, he’s had his jolly to India for no reason whatsoever except to play the big I am. Got entangled with a criminal sacked a colleague and refused to answer simple questions that could have cleared up all this mess, his own fault.

Blegywryd
Blegywryd
1 day ago
Reply to  Why vote

Neither the Presiding Officer nor her deputy (who is a Labour MS) were permitted by Standing Orders to vote.

David
David
1 day ago

There are 30 Labour MSs, 27 voted against, 2 were ill. Who is the other Labour MS?

Blegywryd
Blegywryd
1 day ago
Reply to  David

The other Labour MS was the Deputy Presiding Officer. Neither he nor the Presiding Officer can vote. So they balance each other out.

Paul Symons
Paul Symons
1 day ago
Reply to  David

I can’t recall their title but I believe there’s 1 labour MS who only votes if there’s need for a deciding vote l.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 day ago

Vaughan gething is bringing the Senedd into disrepute by hanging on to his position instead of doing the honourable thing and resigning.

I can’t remember the last time a politician (of any party) displayed any honour!

Howie
Howie
1 day ago

So 3 did not vote for him, 27/30, the 2 with mystery illnesses and the 3rd? That may be the telling one.
Gething has courted controversy since his first election as a Cardiff councillor to this sorry spectacle, he will try to tough it out but it’s a long way to 2026 and there are further revelations being investigated.

Alun
Alun
1 day ago
Reply to  Howie

Neither the Presiding Officer or Deputy Presiding Officer participate in votes (unless a super majority is needed). That’s why it was 27 – 29 rather than 28 – 30.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 day ago

We will now see if it is about Wales, even the Labour Party, or just Gething. I think I know the answer. Leopards and spots.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 day ago

He is Starmers man, if he is now considered a liability in the election will he be persuaded to go for the greater good?

T3DSK1
T3DSK1
16 minutes ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

Fall on his assagai

Paul Symons
Paul Symons
1 day ago

So Mr Gething thinks that this is ‘designed to question his integrity’ . Isn’t that exactly what this is all about surely?
As for Mr Starmer backing him… well I’m sorry but that calls his judgement into doubt too. I can’t bring myself to vote for a party whose leader does not take this situation seriously.

Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
23 hours ago
Reply to  Paul Symons

For a number of years now Starmer’s been claiming a man can magically ‘think’ himself into being a woman. I’d say his judgement went out of the window a while back.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
22 hours ago
Reply to  Paul Symons

And Starmer supported the ousting of Hamza Yousaf in Scotland on similar grounds to that of Gething only a month or so ago!

Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
1 day ago

Any Welsh Labour voters who railed against that clown Boris Johnson have some reflecting to do I’d say. This chancer puts Johnson in the shade.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
22 hours ago
Reply to  Adrian Bamford

Well, they cannot seriously believe that they can oust Johnson and claim that the same rules do not apply to Gething and still retain their credibility!

Teilo
Teilo
1 day ago

VG says that he is being asked to live up to standards that the opposition parties could not live up to, both Plaid and Cons have had their leaders stand down after controversy, so his argument doesn’t hold water. Being the first black leader of a European country is a proud moment for us in Wales, but by then playing the race card when you face legitimate scrutiny about your ethics and decision making undermines that achievement. I’m not sure what is worse his arrogance and exceptionalism in refusing to stand down or the spinelessness of the Labour group around… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
22 hours ago
Reply to  Teilo

Starmer also has a very short memory. He claims that the no-confidence vote was a “gimmick” but his second-in-command in Scotland supported the no-confidence vote that led to the ousting of Hamza Yousaf only last month!

Peter
Peter
22 hours ago

Today, they Celebrated D day in the second world war, can you imagine Churchill crying when things went against him.
Oh how the quality of those who would lead us has changed over the years. When things go wrong now they reach for the handkerchief.

Gaynor
Gaynor
13 hours ago
Reply to  Peter

#bekind

Lord Custard
Lord Custard
12 hours ago

His position is politically untenable.

Our Supporters

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