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Gething stays off Labour battle bus when it visits seat where his donor has made residents’ lives a misery

01 Jul 2024 4 minute read
Henry Tufnell and Chris Bryant with Labour’s election battle bus

Martin Shipton

A Labour general election battle bus touring Wales did not have Vaughan Gething as a passenger when it visited the seat where residents’ lives have been made a misery by his criminal donor.

Mr Gething accepted £200k for his Welsh Labour leadership campaign from a company owned by businessman David Neal, who was given two suspended prison sentences for dumping toxic sludge in the Gwent Levels protected landscape.

Another of Mr Neal’s companies has been responsible for the emission of nauseous odours from the Withyhedge landfill site near Haverfordwest for the best part of a year.

At the weekend, the party battle bus visited the new seat of Mid and South Pembrokeshire. But when a number of prominent Welsh Labour politicians disembarked to be greeted by their local candidate Henry Tufnell, there was no sign of the First Minister.

Early in the general election campaign NationCymru revealed how Mr Tufnell had asked Welsh Labour to tell Mr Gething to keep away from his constituency because of the First Minister’s association with Mr Neal.

Mr Tufnell was told off by party apparatchiks for daring to tell the truth to NationCymru and later he and Mr Gething were pictured eating ice creams together on the Pembrokeshire coast.

Dispatches

Since then a damning Dispatches programme has been broadcast on Channel 4 alleging that Mr Neal is under investigation for “mischaracterising” waste sent to Withyhedge so he makes savings on his landfill tax bill.

A Labour insider said: “ Vaughan’s supporters are quick to claim his crisis is just a Cardiff Bay bubble thing. The reality is very different, Pembrokeshire residents have to live with the stink caused by his associate every day. It is no surprise he didn’t fancy joining this particular campaign stunt, and it’s obvious UK Labour want nothing to do with him.

“Vaughan claimed he would be an electoral asset during his leadership campaign, but he has been incredibly low profile throughout the election. His polling numbers are damning, people have made their minds up and it’s only going to get worse if he doesn’t return the dirty donation money.”

We asked Welsh Labour why Mr Gething wasn’t on the campaign bus, but did not receive a response.

Local activists

The battle arrived at Neyland, with Shadow Digital Minister Chris Bryant greeting local activists and Mr Tufnell.

Speaking to party activists, Mr Bryant said: “On Thursday, the country faces a stark choice. More of the same sleaze, scandal, chaos and instability with the Conservatives, or a chance to press the reset button and have a fresh start with two Labour governments working together in partnership in the service of the people. But we are out today reminding people that change only happens if you vote Labour on July 4.”

He added: “We’ve seen the biggest fall in living standards in our history, you know that in your family finances, the fastest rise in mortgage rates in our history, people simply haven’t been able to keep up, Rishi Sunak, who has probably been more out of touch than any PM in our history probably doesn’t even understand that.

“It’s not just Boris Johnson and the lies, the endless lies, and the Chris Pincher, and the Jacob Rees Mogg nonsense and all that kind of stuff, it’s the complete undermining of the democratic system over these years.”

Change

Mr Tufnell said: “On Thursday this week, we have a fantastic opportunity for change, it’s fantastic to have Chris, [former local MP and Welsh Office Minister] Nick Ainger and [Ceredigion Preseli candidate] Jackie Jones and others; we’ve got the full team here, working together we can really achieve positive change.

“In four days, Pembrokeshire will make a decision on what future they see for themselves and for the country. We are out speaking with hundreds of people every day to show them that there is an alternative to Rishi’s Conservative chaos. It doesn’t have to be like this – change is possible, if you vote Labour on July 4.”

Mr Tufnell said his “number one” priority would be the development of ‘green prosperity’ to get “well paid jobs in Pembrokeshire”.

When asked what he would do to address cutbacks in local public services, ultimately funded by Westminster, which has led to an increase in council tax levels in the county, he said: “We’re suffering 14 years of Conservative austerity and that’s what’s led to underfunding of our public services, and that’s what’s key to this whole election. We want to turn the page on Thursday, we want to have a decade of national renewal under Labour.”


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Frank
Frank
12 days ago

We cannot possibly carry on with this “run-away” dodgy character at the helm!! What will be the next revelation I wonder?

TBLM1957
TBLM1957
12 days ago
Reply to  Frank

“Mr Tufnell was told off by party apparatchiks for daring to tell the truth to Nation Cymru and later he and Mr Gething were pictured eating ice creams together on the Pembrokeshire coast”.

What damning indictment will come next? He has a cup of coffee with someone in a public place? Amusing to see a hackneyed old phrase from the bygone days of the 1970s, “party apparatchiks” indeed.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
12 days ago

LYNCH MOB Would have been waiting for the snake

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Shocked that this racist Jim Crow throwback comment is still up. Fortunately news moves on but this should not have been posted

A.Redman
A.Redman
12 days ago

Surely if the present First Minister is claiming that there is no problem with receiving a £200,000 donation from a convicted criminal he would be only too willing to face those whose lives have been blighted by the actions of Mr.Neal? If this had been any there politician he would be shouting from the rooftop for heads to roll!!!As for the ever so saintly Chris Bryant words fail🤬

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
12 days ago

Watching First Minister Vaughan Gething the other day flanked by Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens projected the image that he was merely the junior partner and she his superior. He looked timid akin to a tortoise poking his head from within its shell in deference to her presence. Wales needs a Welsh leader that stands tall not crawl. This would not happen if Plaid Cymru were the Welsh Government and Rhun ap Iorwerth First Minister.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago

Last time I saw that bus it was working for Fat Shanks and Brexit with a great lie plastered down the side…Don’t trust Buses !

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
12 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

What do you mean, all buses or just red buses? What if the buses don’t have politicians on them, can we trust them then?

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
12 days ago

“…more of the same sleaze, scandal and chaos…” Of whom do you speak Mr Bryant?

Old Curmudgeon
Old Curmudgeon
12 days ago

If we have a first minister who gets told not to turn up in a constituency by a labour candidate in a general election campaign. Who is too frightened to face people in a part of the country that he is leader of because of a situation that he has mishandled (and continues to mishandle). Who has lost a vote of no confidence and ignored it. I have a feeling that it Is not Going to be a very equal partnership with Westminster but more the lap-dog that sits at the table and is grateful for any scraps thrown its… Read more »

Howie
Howie
12 days ago

Bryant taking time off from using parliamentary privileges for researching his next book, no one should forget his part in the unedifying shenanigans to stop SNP debate by Starmer and his henchwoman.

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