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Gething vows to carry on as First Minister after losing no-confidence vote

05 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Screengrab taken from Senedd TV of First Minister of Wales Vaughan Gething becoming tearful during a Senedd committee hearing ahead of a vote of no confidence in him. Photo Senedd TV/PA Wire

Vaughan Gething has vowed to carry on as First Minister despite losing a no-confidence vote, saying he is “proud to be the First Minister of Wales to serve and lead my country”.

He lost the vote on his leadership in the Senedd on Wednesday, with 29 votes against him to 27 for.

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

Carry on

The First Minister told broadcasters: “I’m here, proud to be the First Minister of Wales to serve and lead my country. That’s what I’ve done today, it’s what I’ll carry on doing.”

He added that it was a “very disappointing afternoon,” branding the motion a “transparent gimmick” that was impacted by two members of his party being unwell.

“To go into a position where the ill health of two of our members has affected the outcome of the vote. On ill health grounds we have always paired, that means you even up people in one party to another.

“We did that for more than three months with the leader of the Conservative Party.”

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

Mr Gething was visibly emotional during the debate and could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.

Integrity

Speaking to broadcasters, he said his integrity had been brought into question.

He said: “Where is the evidence I have ever done anything in a way that I should not have as a minister?

“I can tell you there is no evidence of that because it has not happened.

“Today was an exercise in muck-throwing – the range of different things that were said that members know are simply not true is really quite disgraceful.”

Donation

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”.


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Catherine Fox
Catherine Fox
19 days ago

Lots of people cry when the consequences of their actions come home to them…but the thing is Gething knew the outcome of the vote before the ballot, as did all who have been paying attention, he also knew his own course of action before the ballot too. So his tears mean NOTHING. They are as staged as his ascendance to FM was. He DID take money from a convicted polluter. He DID mislead the enquiry in regard to the WhatsApp messages. He HAS fired a lady without showing anyone the evidence he claims proves her guilt. ….and just in case… Read more »

Gwyn Hopkins
Gwyn Hopkins
19 days ago

The no-confidence vote suffered by Vaughan Gething may not be binding but, surely, it makes his position as First Minister untenable. If he insists on soldiering on he will, undoubtedly, be a lame First Minister. The only honourable course of action for him and the only way to regain the respect of most people in Wales is for him to resign his position.

Null
Null
19 days ago

If people are truly disgusted by the arrogance and hypocrisy of VG, their only remedy is vote tactically to remove Labour from as many constituencies as possible. Unfortunately, this will never happen and people will continue to vote as their forefathers did without thinking critically.

Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
19 days ago

The man has no shame.

Why vote
Why vote
19 days ago

He says he has done nothing wrong legally maybe he is correct but when this all started all he had to do is return the tainted donation to its sender and the electorate in wales would have said well done, the problem is he didn’t he lost the trust of the people he cannot comprehend what is wrong he’s filled in all the forms ticked all the boxes so everything is fine in his solicitors mind. If he can’t see why this has blown up its about trust in his character his decision making and what his vision of the… Read more »

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