Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Labour does not appreciate the trouble Welsh FM is in, Plaid leader says

01 Jun 2024 5 minute read
Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth campaigning in Ammanford, south Wales, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Saturday June 1, 2024.

Sir Keir Starmer “does not appreciate the trouble” the embattled Welsh First Minister is in, the leader of Plaid Cymru has said.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of the Welsh national party, has said the Labour Party has not appreciated the situation Vaughan Gething is in, as he faces a no-confidence vote in the Senedd next week.

He also accused the Labour Party of “gaslighting” the people of Wales on the NHS and education.

Mr Gething, who has been the Welsh Labour leader since March, faces a no-confidence vote after being beset by scandal, with questions raised about a £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a man convicted of environmental crimes and allegations that he may have deleted messages that could be of interest to the Covid Inquiry.

Speaking during a campaign visit to Ammanford in south Wales, Mr ap Iorwerth said voters are “absolutely” talking about Mr Gething on the doorstep.

He said: “We have a very, very troubled First Minister, it seems that Keir Starmer doesn’t appreciate the trouble that his leader in Wales is in.

“But it’s very clear to me from conversations on doorsteps, from emails I’ve received, from messages I’ve received, from just conversations on the street like I’m having in Ammanford today, that people absolutely recognise that we have a leader, a First Minister in Wales, that isn’t up to the high standards to which we should hold our political leaders.”

All opposition parties in the Senedd have indicated that they will support the no-confidence motion, with a vote taking place on June 5.

Mr ap Iorwerth added: “The opposition parties haven’t got confidence in Vaughan Gething, more importantly than that, we’re clear that the people of Wales don’t have confidence in him.

“This one is down to Labour, if Labour members of the Senedd, and more importantly, Keir Starmer want to keep him in place, he will stay in place. It’s their call.”

Addressing reporters on Thursday, Sir Keir said he was “proud” of Labour’s record in Wales and said Mr Gething was doing “a very good job”.

The Welsh FM has always insisted he broke no rules regarding the £200,000 donation and said leaks to the media that showed him saying he was deleting text messages in a ministerial group chat in 2020 did not contradict evidence he gave to the Covid Inquiry and were unrelated to pandemic decision making.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (right) and new Welsh First Minister Vaughan Gething during a visit to the Port of Holyhead, Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mr ap Iorwerth also accused the Labour Party of “gaslighting” the people of Wales, by promising to get to grips with health and education.

Health and education are devolved issues and are controlled by the Welsh Labour government.

“Labour thinks they can take Wales for granted,” he said.

“Talking about sorting health and education policies that they have been running in Wales for the last 25 years.

“Do they think the people of Wales are that stupid?”

The Plaid leader said his party wants to set out a positive message for what Wales can be and to act as a voice for the country in Parliament.

He added that they did not want to take any votes for granted, following polling on Friday that suggested his party will make gains at the election including in the Caerfyrddin constituency, which covers Ammanford.

Mr ap Iorwerth also called Labour’s decision to “parachute” in members with no connection to Wales a “real worry”.

He said: “It’s a worrying sign about what Labour’s attitude in government would be towards Wales.

“We’re seeing a slashing on the number of MPs in Wales from 40 to 32.

“If among those 32 you have parachuted in candidates who are not there because they want to play any part in Welsh politics, that’s a dilution of the Welsh voice.

“It’s insulting to the Labour Party members themselves in those constituencies, but it’s also insulting to Wales to do this at the last minute.

On Friday, the party confirmed that Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think Tank will be its candidate for Swansea West.

Mr Bell appears to have no connection to Wales.

Former Labour MP Beth Winter told the BBC the decision was an “insult to party members” and an “affront to democracy”.

Labour has insisted the decision was taken by a panel “formed by representatives from the Welsh executive committee and local 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
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
14 days ago

Let’s keep some perspective here, it looks like every other Labour MS has taken a backward step to me, happy to sacrifice Gething and go back to their complacency, the NHS in Cymru needs a real hard working, inspired and inspiring leader, not someone seeing out their long career in semi-retirement…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
14 days ago

Two essentials here. Point 1. Starmer must go in at Westminster and the Tories must be destroyed. It is the only choice available. Full stop on point 1. Point 2. Before Starmer even gets in, we must have enough Labour members in Y Senedd join in this vote of no confidence in Vaughan Gething to get him deposed so that Starmer will know that the Welsh Labour party is NOT the same as his Labour party and will not be pushed around by it. This is the next Michael/Morgan ‘clear red water’ moment and the message must be sent to… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
13 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Starmer will get his majority thanks to England’s electorate. It is not our purpose to help Labour win a majority. Westminster is England’s parliament (despite our annexation), England’s problem not ours. Our priority is to make sure Wales is governed by a Welsh Government in a Welsh Parliament, democratically elected by the Welsh Electorate. To that end you have one effective vote at this election and that is Plaid Cymru.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
13 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Indeed. I have a dream.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
14 days ago

UK Labour only cares about the situation regarding the FM – if it begins to affect Starmer’s campaign. We may continually vote Labour in Cymru but really the UK party just doesn’t give a toss about us, never has and never will. Welsh Labour has to wake up, and finally cut ties with the UK party.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Exactly. Welsh Labour must come to mean NOT UK Labour. Ditto Lb Dems. The (not) Welsh Tories will always kiss the masters butt.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
14 days ago

To put it in a Nutshell for labour Wales first minister is an Achilles heel and i can see at leas2 Labour A M voting against him or abstaining the lady A M he sacked and the man who ran against him and the underhanded way the first minister got the job they may be even more than 2 labour A M,s with an axe to grind against him

Steve George
Steve George
13 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

I hope you’re right but I think it highly unlikely that, in the middle of a general election campaign, any Labour MS will vote for a Tory tabled no confidence motion. They would be completely ostracised by the party and probably expelled. That’s without the sheer tribalism that binds the Labour Group in the Senedd more effectively than any whipping system.

Morfudd ap Haul
Morfudd ap Haul
13 days ago

In some parts of Wales the NHS does not exist.

Carnabwth
Carnabwth
13 days ago

Most people we have seen in Ammanford. The street where councillors and school governors use the same narrative as per pre 1939 Berlin towards those that don’t conform to their bandwidth.

CapM
CapM
13 days ago
Reply to  Carnabwth

What are you trying to say?

Our Supporters

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