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Plaid Cymru leader expresses deep concerns as Vaughan Gething is elected leader of Welsh Labour

16 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth

Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has expressed “deep concerns” following the election of Vaughan Gething as the new leader of Welsh Labour.

Mr Gething was elected this morning (16 March) following a three-month leadership race triggered by Mark Drakeford announcing that he would be standing down as Leader and First Minister of Wales back in December.

Wales’ Economy Minister, defeated Education Minister Jeremy Miles to secure Welsh Labour’s top job.

Mr Gething’s leadership campaign has been been mired in controversy after it was revealed by Nation.Cymru that Mr Gething received a campaign donation of £200,000 from David John Neal, a businessman who had previously been convicted twice of environmental offences as head of two companies, Atlantic Recycling and Neal Soil Suppliers.

Letters

The following month BBC Wales reported that it had obtained letters written by Gething in 2016 and 2018 to Natural Resources Wales requesting that it ease restrictions on Neal’s company Atlantic Recycling.

Former Welsh Government minister, Leighton Andrews, told Nation.Cymru that the donations were “damaging devolution” and called for Gething’s campaign to return the donation.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said it was a matter of deep concern that “we now have an incoming First Minister who before even taking up the highest public office is facing serious allegations and questions about his judgement”.

Pointing to his record in government, Mr ap Iorwerth said “nothing said” during the leadership campaign suggested a “gear-change” in addressing the challenges of a stagnating Welsh economy, NHS waiting times and child poverty.

“I congratulate Vaughan Gething on winning the Welsh Labour leadership election,” Mr ap Iorwerth said.

Challenges

“If elected First Minister on Wednesday as expected, his party’s own record means he inherits significant challenges.

“He has sat around the Cabinet table and held key portfolios while Wales’s economy has stagnated, NHS waiting lists have grown, and child poverty remains a national scandal. Nothing said during the leadership campaign suggests that we will now see a gear-change in addressing these huge challenges.

“But he also brings his own personal issues. It is a matter of deep concern that we now have an incoming First Minister who before even taking up the highest public office is facing serious allegations and questions about his judgement.

“At the very least, Vaughan Gething should surely return the £200,000 campaign donation which has rightly drawn so much criticism from within his own party and beyond.

“This is not as good as it gets for Wales. The people of Wales deserve a party that has a real vision for the future – one that’s based on fairness and ambition, and that is what a vote for Plaid Cymru can offer.”


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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
25 days ago

Well said Rhun. Vaughan Gething must give a public undertaking to return that £200,000 donation. If he refuses to then he isn’t fit to lead Wales and Plaid must try to block him being elected Wales’ First Minister this week

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
25 days ago

Is this an island in the stream where Plaid takes its own course for now until the ripples disappear?

Or is there some meat on this bone…

Karen Lewis
Karen Lewis
25 days ago

Politicians! Same old same old. Nothing changes but the faces.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago

So where does that leave the Labour/Plaid Co-Operation Agreement?

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
25 days ago

OK. Jump up and down and show concern, but are you going to continue to prop up a government led by such a man?
Now is the time for courage not sound bites. We are waiting.

CapM
CapM
25 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

According to Wikipedia here are some of the European countries governed by coalitions of political parties. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and of course Scotland. Cymru will hopefully soon have an electoral system that although not as representative as a Single Transferable vote system will be more likely to produce ‘coalition’ governments. Hopefully the FPTP mentality of the winner governs alone and losers excuse themselves from involving themselves in the ‘dirty’ business of governing for the duration can be overcome. Not easy as after nearly a quarter of a… Read more »

Steve. Thomas
Steve. Thomas
25 days ago

Prove it, withdraw from the agreement with Labour NOW

Annibendod
Annibendod
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve. Thomas

We should certainly not have waved through the closed lists. Big mistake. We do now need to take Labour on aggressively.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
25 days ago

I totally agree with Plaid’s Rhun ap Iorwerth. Vaughan Gething should return the £200,000 received to aid his campaign from convicted ecco criminal David John Neal. Tainted by association. Do the right thing. Morals over money.

Also, we in Wales have the unique opportunity to judge Welsh Labour and our newly elected First Minister Vaughan Gething in two years time with the Senedd Cymru elections where by then Welsh Labour would have been in power for 26 years and UK Labour, if elected, two years. The clock is ticking.

Last edited 25 days ago by Y Cymro
Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
25 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

So is Rhun ap Iorwerth getting on with the job of building a party to take on Labour at this election?
No, too busy propping up Labour, no matter what the latest sound bite says.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago

A challenging time ahead for sure …….for us in particular.

Knowlege of Wales above Merthyr, rural Wales, the “ hen iaith “, tolerating non Labour folk and keeping ones temper plus of course working with Pliad …

David
David
25 days ago

If there is a vote to accept VG as FM in the Senedd, all Plaid, Cons & Lib Dems should vote against VG being FM.

Rob jones
Rob jones
25 days ago

Plaid have backed the labour dictatorship and now they are not happy have lost my vote

CapM
CapM
25 days ago
Reply to  Rob jones

So which party are you tempted to vote for?

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
25 days ago

Be wnei di felly, Rhun bach? Parhau i gynnal y fath lywodraeth lwgr a di-egwyddor, sy’n creoshoelio Cymru? Mae sawl peth da wedi dod o’r cytundeb cydweithio, ond onid nawr yw’r adeg i dynnu allan, er mwyn Cymru, ac i arbed hynny o enw da a hunan-barch sydd gan y Blaid ar ôl. Dyma arweinydd a ddewiswyd gan undebau Lloegr, nid gan bobl Cymru. Pa fodd y mae dymchwel y castell coch hwn? Mae’r pydredd yn ddrycsawr o’i mewn.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
25 days ago

Such a close result between Gething and Miles. Had Miles been treated fairly by the unions the outcome could have been very different.
In addition the questions around the large corrupting donations accepted by Gething and from criminal gains is very worrying.
In the end the result feels totally unsatisfactory, it seems like a stitch up to me with vested interests getting their man rather than the country getting the best person for the job

max wallis
max wallis
25 days ago

Let Senedd call Gething to account over his disregard of the Nola Principles in public life. Over the £200 000 donation, he’s flouted the Nolan Principle as amended for Wales in 2021, the Integrity and propriety: principle reads: “Members must not put themselves in a position where their integrity is called into question by any financial or other obligation to individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their duties. Members must on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour”. In the eyes of the Welsh public, he has massively breached this principle. True,… Read more »

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
25 days ago

Oh dear, deep concerns, stern face pulling a quick plug for the party at the end.
Then when the next fantastical idea emerges from the Bay, he and his party will be on hand to vote it through.

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
25 days ago

[ PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH ] Tim rygbi Cymru’n colli yn erbyn Yr Eidal a Vaughan Gething yn cael ei ethol fel Arweinydd newydd y Blaid Lafur yng Nghymru ac o reidrwydd yn cael ei benodi’n Brif Weinidog Cymru yn y Senedd – heddiw mae Cymru wedi ennill DWY LWY BREN bren mewn 1 diwrnod… ~ Wales’ rugby team loses against Italy and Vaighan Geything gets himself elected as the neew Leader of the Laboour Party in Wales- thereby automatically becoming the First Minister of Wales in the Senedd – today Wales has just won TWO WOODEN SPOONS in… Read more »

A Evans
A Evans
18 days ago

But Plaid have been supporting Welsh Labour in all their dictate under Drakeford!

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