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Plaid Cymru calls for Gething to quit after losing no-confidence vote

06 Jun 2024 5 minute read
Vaughan Gething becoming tearful during a Senedd committee hearing ahead of a vote of no confidence in him. Photo Senedd TV/PA Wire

Plaid Cymru has called for Vaughan Gething to quit as First Minister after he lost a no-confidence vote in the Senedd yesterday (5 June).

Mr Gething vowed to carry on leading the Welsh Government after losing the vote in the Senedd 29-27.

On Thursday he was in Normandy attending the national commemoration at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.

He is then visiting Asnelles to pay his respects at the memorial to the South Wales Borderers – the only Welsh unit to land on D-Day.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, said his party would consider tabling a motion of no-confidence in the Welsh Government as a whole.

‘Solemn day’

“Yesterday was a solemn day and we’ve only ever had one other vote of no-confidence in a First Minister and that was back in 2000 (with) Alun Michael,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“This was a serious and solemn day.”

Asked whether he was considering a motion of no-confidence in the Welsh Government, Mr ap Iorwerth said: “Yes, absolutely, that is an option at a time like this.

“We’ll reflect on what happened yesterday, Wales, no doubt, will be reflecting on what happened.

“It means considering the options available to us. I would say this: I would hope that whilst he made a very hurried statement yesterday following the votes, I would hope that Vaughan Gething himself and the Labour Party reflect further on this.

“This has been damaging to democracy in Wales and when you do have a vote of no-confidence it sends a very clear and democratic message that the only honourable response would be a resignation.”

Dramatic

Wednesday afternoon’s dramatic scenes in the Senedd followed the collapse of the co-operation deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru and a series of scandals involving Mr Gething.

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.”

Mr Gething said it had been a “very disappointing afternoon”, branding the motion a “transparent gimmick” that was impacted by two members of his party being unwell.

Without the absence of Hannah Blythyn, who Mr Gething recently sacked from his Government, and Lee Waters, the no-confidence motion was unlikely to have passed.

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 with “months and months of innuendo” that was “damaging and hurtful”.

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.”

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said Mr Gething had “lost the confidence of the people of Wales”.

He said: “He has lost the confidence of the Senedd. The only person who is still batting for Vaughan Gething is Keir Starmer.”

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 had also refused to show any evidence to explain why he sacked Senedd member Ms Blythyn from his Government, after he accused her of leaking messages to the media.

The First Minister’s decision followed a Nation.Cymru report 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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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 hours ago

Welsh Labour First Minister Vaughan Gething could have nipped this in the bud by admitting he made an error of judgment, apologised, and simply gave back the donation received. After all, we all make mistakes. But he didn’t. He arrogantly chose not to do so. And when he was scrutinised by opposition parties in the Senedd, played the race card, and has even angered former FM Mark Drakeford over his school holiday policy that he scrapped that’s led to where we are now, him losing yesterday’s confidence vote after only 3 months or so in the top job. He’s now… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
9 hours ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Spot on comment! It’s not so much the dodgy donation, but the lack of humility and the downright arrogance that got him to this position.

Robat Powell
Robat Powell
10 hours ago

Can’t understand why Plaid and Tories want Vaughan Gething to go. Who would they rather face in the 2026 Senedd election, Gething or Jeremy Miles?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 hours ago
Reply to  Robat Powell

Good point. But they have to be seen to at least be making meaningless gestures for him to stand down after supporting a no-confidence vote. Likelihood is that he, his party and Keir Starmer will plough on, despite his unpopularity with not just the opposition but the public too, thus demonstrating how unbelievably tone deaf and out of touch they all are. If he’s still FM by 2026, they can expect a trouncing at the polls and deservedly so.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
6 hours ago
Reply to  Robat Powell

Doesn’t matter..The opinion poll a few days ago gave Labour only 30% support. Welsh Labour has ignored 478,000 people by pretending to review the 20 mph, enraged farmers and pulled back from the School Holiday fiasco. People will not forget these ill judged issues.After 77 days in office Vaughn Gething Labour Party has done nothing in the Senedd except arguing amongst themselves.

SImmo
SImmo
9 hours ago

This whole thing comes across as a bad episode. The climate in the Senedd yesterday completely took me by surprise, the depth of feeling in the chamber that emerged with the vote yesterday. If VG does carry on, then I suspect that it will come across like the last days of the Johnson government in Westminster, where one Conservative MP made the comment after another scandal hit the regime: “well, we’ll just limp on I suppose…”, or words to that effect. There has been talk of this being “at the worst possible timing” for this to happen to the Senedd… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 hours ago
Reply to  SImmo

No, it is not good timing for Welsh Labour. They have made a choice to support Gething, along with Starmer, in defiance of the Welsh public – 57% of whom believe he should apologise and/ or return the money. This demonstrates how tone deaf and out of touch they have become and they could pay a heavy price for their contempt and defiance at the polls in 2026.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
5 hours ago
Reply to  SImmo

The LP grip on Welsh politics needs to change. They are a cartel, scratching each others backs while doing nothing for the people

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
9 hours ago

What amazes me is the fact the neither Hannah Blythyn nor Lee Waters were able to vote, despite the Senedd having remote voting as well a proxy voting.
The real reason they didn’t vote, was they have no confidence in Vaughan Gething.

Nia James
Nia James
8 hours ago

It is amazing that, as of 1.45pm on 6th June, he is still our First Minister. He oozes chutzpah and clearly sees himself as being head and shoulders above both those around him in the Senedd, and our fellow countrymen and women outside it. If he stays then he threatens not only the survival of the current government but also the Senedd as a site of democratic power, and devolution as a process.

Juan
Juan
7 hours ago
Reply to  Nia James

In addition the business that ” donated” the 200k to Teflon Gethins campaign had earlier received £400k from a WG department only then to provide Teflon with £200k, obviously nice work if you can get it. Whilst also stating there is “no evidence” of actions he dictates that evidence will not be provided to support why he sacked his cabinet minister, man speaks with forked tongue methinks

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 hours ago
Reply to  Nia James

Devolution is larger and more important than “Welsh” Labour.

Why vote
Why vote
7 hours ago

He’s just is not getting it. At the first hint of a problem with the donation he should have returned it, what did he do, put out a statement I have followed all the guidelines. Deletion of Emails put out a statement, they were deleted by the senedd new tech team, sacked a minister, statement she’s leaked an email which proves I deleted Emails which didn’t relate to any senedd business. Trust is earned integrity is shown when you do and say things that are proven to be correct and above reproach then you can be trusted. If he keeps… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 hours ago
Reply to  Why vote

He’s not getting it, but neither are his colleagues in the Senedd, nor Keir Starmer, who is portraying a legitimate vote of no-confidence as a “gimmick”, despite supporting the same thing in Scotland, only a month or so ago. They are all incredibly out of touch and tone deaf. If they continue to support him in defiance of the public – 57% of whom believe he should not have accepted the money – then they can expect to pay a heavy price at the polls in 2026.

Why vote
Why vote
1 hour ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

1,000,000% agree

Howie
Howie
7 hours ago

What he is doing is putting a big target on his back that Labour might find unwelcome as all of actions in past will now come under further scrutiny.
To late to challenge this at the start of his political journey but a pointer to the future perhaps..

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/he-broke-the-rules-2434564

CapM
CapM
6 hours ago

When addressing the Senedd in the Vote Of No Confidence Vaughan Gething chose to speak of his personal integrity and sincerity. Four Labour Senedd members that also spoke against the VONC. Can be viewed on BBC iPlayer but can be summed up as- Vikki Howells – The Labour Party is the best thing since sliced bread Joyce Watson – Democracy in action is less important than attending a parade celebrating the defence of democracy Hefin David – it’s a nasty plot by racists Mike Hedges – a handful of irrelevances from his personal Pick and Mix counter. None of them,… Read more »

Last edited 6 hours ago by CapM
Adrian
Adrian
5 hours ago

There’s a reason Kier Starmer doesn’t want to talk about Wales, even when jibed at PMQs. It’s because Wales, as an example of how a Labour government runs a region, is an absolute embarrassment. Worse crime stats than England, weakest growth in the UK, worst literacy & numeracy in the UK, and amongst the highest levels of child poverty….and now we have our very own version of Boris Johnson in charge. If Wales were a showpiece for a Labour UK government Starmer’d be shouting it from the roof tops, but he doesn’t even want to talk about it.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 hours ago
Reply to  Adrian

What frustrates me is the media don’t seem to want to talk about it either (not yet anyway). This is an open goal for all Labour’s opponents. After all, despite calling this legitimate motion “a gimmick”, Starmer supported the same thing in Scotland only a month ago when it involved removing the Scottish First Minister.

Last edited 4 hours ago by SundanceKid

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