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Vaughan Gething branded ‘arrogant and insulting’ for comments to BBC journalist

18 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Vaughan Gething during his appearance on the BBC’s Politics Wales.

Emily Price

Vaughan Gething has been branded “arrogant and insulting” for comments made to a female journalist during a BBC interview which aired at the weekend.

Welsh Conservative MS, Tom Giffard said the Politics Wales interview marked a “bad start” for the incoming first minister.

On Saturday (March 16) it was announced Mr Gething had narrowly won the Welsh Labour leadership election against Jeremy Miles with 51.7% of the vote.

His campaign has been mired in controversy over donations and about the role of unions in nominating him.

On Sunday (March 17), the new Welsh Labour leader was quizzed by the BBC’s Teleri Glyn Jones.

Lobbied

She pressed the incoming first minister on a £200,000 donation he accepted from a company run by a man twice convicted for environmental offences.

The senior broadcaster said: “You lobbied the regulator on the company’s behalf twice – and then it emerges during the campaign that they’ve put in their planning application for a solar farm that needs Welsh Government approval. It just doesn’t look good does it?”

Mr Gething responded saying any “serious journalist” knows that in a constituency MSs are not entitled to make decisions as a minister.

He said: “Eight years ago I wrote to Natural Resources Wales as a constituency member, it is not lobbying – lobbying is a loaded word, as we know.

“As a constituency member it is literally your job to represent your constituents, individuals and businesses.

“On the solar farm, this is a little frustrating, because every serious journalist knows, in your constituency, you’re not entitled to make decisions as a minister.”

The senior political reporter laughed and replied: “I won’t take that personally.”

Mr Gething was also asked whether he will return the £200,000 donation as suggested by leaders of both Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives.

He said: “There’s nothing wrong with what we’ve done.”

Questions

Shadow culture minister Tom Giffard said it was right that the Welsh media raise questions about Mr Gething’s campaign.

He said: “Vaughan Gething’s comments, where he suggested that anyone asking him about the donations to his campaign was not a ‘serious journalist’ were arrogant and insulting.

“The new Labour leader doesn’t seem to understand that the role of the media is to ask politicians uncomfortable questions.

“The likely incoming First Minister’s £200,000 donation simply doesn’t pass the smell test, and it is clearly in the public interest for him to be asked about it.

“Vaughan Gething is probably in the weakest position of any incoming First Minister – narrowly winning the race without a majority of his own Senedd Members backing him.

“Questioning the professionalism of a journalist doing their job won’t give all those Labour MSs who didn’t back him in the first place any more confidence that he’s the right man for the job.”

Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor also shared the clip on X saying: “The newly elected leader of Labour in Wales has started his term by effectively challenging the right of journalists to scrutinise his decisions.

“This augers badly for the Government and Welsh democracy.  He needs to accept criticism and return the money.”

It’s not the first time Mr Gething has been criticised for his conduct during an interview with a journalist.

The former health minister was previously filmed walking away from an ITV journalist over calls for an inquiry into a health board’s actions.

In a more recent interview with ITV on past errors of judgement, the Welsh Labour leader said the incident had showed he is a “real human being”.

He told ITV: “I learned an awful lot from the interview incident quite a few years ago now, and it’s understanding that if you feel under pressure you can’t react in a way that reflects poorly on you and makes the situation worse.

“It’s that experience of having to do some of those difficult things and still to come back and be better as well.”

Vaughan Gething was invited to comment.


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Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
22 days ago

I know this isn’t what you would call sophisticated political disciurse but here goes: what a complete tw@t.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
22 days ago

There’s no doubt Welsh Labour FM Vaughan Gething came across very defensive and arrogant when he was cross-examined by BBC’s Teleri Glyn Jones over his controversial £200,000 campaign donation, but for the Welsh Conservatives to moralise when their puppetmaster in London Rishy Sunak received a £10 million bung and a £20,000 free helicopter jolly from a party donor who not only used racist misogynist language towards black people but also stated he wanted to murder Diane Abbott laughable.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
22 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Why am I not surprised ? VG was only put as its leader by labour’s electoral college (which has as much credibility as the US system) – It is not transparent. The tragedy is that labour MSs will then vote him into the position of First Minister of Wales – head of our country. His first speech he stated is to unite and represent the whole of labour party. Only one section of the Welsh public. Where does the Welsh people get a say ? It does smell of arrogance we have nearly always seen in UK ministers. It will… Read more »

A Evans
A Evans
16 days ago

I was with you right up to “vote Plaid”, the party that has propped up Welsh Labour as they dictated “their” beliefs on to us!

Robert morgan
Robert morgan
20 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

That’s Voiding the question

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

No one here is denying that. But you can’t void valid concerns levelled at Gething just because the “other side” has done the same – or worse. He is part of the Westminster establishment, and is playing by their rules. We deserve – and should want – better for our country.

Peter
Peter
18 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

We are discussing Welsh politics about our Welsh first minister, who took what some people have referred to as back hander from a criminal.
And the only excuse you can manage is to refer to Westminster going ons, but with no reference to the actual Welsh event or its potential consequences.
Does that mean that the Welsh electorate shouldn’t hold Welsh politicians to account for going ons in Wales?

Last edited 18 days ago by Peter
Raymond Smith
Raymond Smith
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter

No not if he’s Labour. They have been messing Wales up since the beginning and can do whatever they want.

Paul
Paul
14 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Unions pay millions for votes also you pleb head, we are talking about 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 that Labour have destroyed

Jeff
Jeff
22 days ago

This the same Conservative party complaining here that were quiet over ARTD misogynistic comment “probably doing her hair” when he was on GBeebies? (GBeebies not have a good day either).

Hows the 10 mill going for the Tory coffers to fight the next election, how much will be spent in wales.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Why should we excuse Gething’s actions because the Tories did the same? Labour and the Conservatives are all part of the rotten Westminster system. Rather than making excuses for one of them, we should be condemning both and demand better for our country!

Paddy
Paddy
22 days ago

Gething already receives a salary for representing his constituency. Why did this business pay him extra?

He won’t be make the planning decision but he will appoint the minister who does. Or the minister of the department that makes the decision.

It’s very worrying that he can’t even see the problem.

Llyn
Llyn
22 days ago
Reply to  Paddy

Paddy the business in his constituency did not pay him.

Derek Jackson
Derek Jackson
22 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

But common Directors – was the payment authorised by the Board or MD?

Paddy
Paddy
22 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

I am relying on Vaughan Gething’s response to the BBC’s story.

Llyn
Llyn
22 days ago
Reply to  Paddy

The business was giving money to his campaign. Was Hester giving Sunak a £15 milion top up to his salary?

Paddy
Paddy
22 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

Who benefitted from the donation to his campaign?

The money didn’t go to the Labour Party.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
20 days ago
Reply to  Paddy

Gething may not make the decision regarding the solar farm in his constituency but his influence will weigh heavily on the decision. £200,000 donor will expect payback. The whole thing stinks in my opinion

David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
22 days ago

Personally I hope he is as blunt with Sunak and then informs us in Wales about how Tory Westminster Government show arrogance at a world class level towards us.

Annibendod
Annibendod
22 days ago

Not the first time is it … mind you, the Tories calling foul over it! As Father Dougal might have put it: “They’re up to their necks in flip Ted!”

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Can’t believe so many people on here are excusing Gething’s actions.

He was the establishment’s choice for First Minister and is evidently playing by their dubious rules.

But instead of questioning the rotten Westminster system that helped put him there in the first place, let’s excuse his behaviour instead.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
22 days ago

Not yet even in office and already made an enemy out of the media. Also not a popular figure within his own party. Doesn’t auger well, does it?

hdavies15
hdavies15
22 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Man has a hide like a rhino. He won’t flinch until the Party turn on him, and that won’t happen. V.G is a class act on the Putin yardstick of brutal insensitivity. Wait till he’s been in post a few months he’ll be treating Wales like his own personal fiefdom.

Llyn
Llyn
22 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

To compare VG to Putin is ridiculous.

Why vote
Why vote
22 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

Both elected on the same day both tyrants. Next election will there be any opposition to VP or VG only time will tell.

Llyn
Llyn
22 days ago
Reply to  Why vote

I think you have lost the plot

pawl
pawl
22 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Nid wyf wedi gweld yr arwyddion y bydd Gething mor effeithiol a phoblogaidd ag arlywydd Rwsia

Llyn
Llyn
22 days ago
Reply to  pawl

Cefnogwr Putin Paul?

Jeff
Jeff
22 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Putin is raping and murdering a nation. He murders opponents and journalists. Not a comparison by any measure.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

They are already starting to turn on him.

Steve
Steve
22 days ago

Typical of Welsh Labour always having their noses in the trough – taking anybody’s money. Its been like this in the valleys for many, many years.

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
22 days ago

Well that did not take long. There is an air of arrogance, superiority and dare I say contempt for anyone who has the temerity to question him. However this should come as no surprise to those who have followed his political career. Who can forget his on camera interview back in 2017 with James Crichton-Smith of ITV. Head tilted to one side oozing arrogance and condescendence. A humorous quote from a Western Mail article at the time described him as he marched away from the camera as ‘a rather pathetic figure who couldn’t handle the questions put to him’. Seven… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
22 days ago

The same on Senedd TV too. Usually arrogant, defensive, always on the back foot. Never gracious. Zero charisma. Longwinded semantically nonsensical sentences.

Apart for the dodgy way he got in, via the blanket votes of English unions and not the support of his own people and fellow colleagues, I just don’t think he has the characters of a good leader. He just comes across as someone desperate to get to the top.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

English unions should have no business dictating who becomes our First Minister. No doubt, they were “guided” to vote for a certain candidate due to Gething’s loyalty and love for UK Labour and the Union.

Rob jones
Rob jones
22 days ago

This says it all the man is an self serving megalomaniac who cares nothing for the people of Wales just himself

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
22 days ago

Vaughan Gething wouldn’t have got away with that behaviour with Jeremy Paxman

Last edited 22 days ago by Johnny Gamble
Rich
Rich
22 days ago

The guy has ability and we need robust members who stand up for their patch – but VGs personally is well known and contrasts to that of MD conciliatory approach.

Those in his party who backed him mostly came from the old party boyo tradition of the Valleys where this sort of reported response to female reporters and indeed any opponent’s tends to
be par for the course.unfortunately

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Rich

Yes, we need robust leaders.

However, going on previous form, his loyalty and interests don’t seem to lean towards the Valleys. They seem to lean towards himself and his party, first and foremost.

I think anyone expecting him to become a “champion” of the Welsh people is going to be very disappointed.

Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones
18 days ago
Reply to  Rich

His ability I’m sorry to say in my opinion is very questionable. He has been Health Minister and Economy Minister and what did he achieve except breaking Covid rules.Sure the race card will be used if criticised as he doesn’t stop banging on about being black.Who cares?Sadly Wales are in for the same old as from his predecessor but with Gethin believe it will just get worse.

Neilyn
Neilyn
22 days ago

He may have his sights longer term on Downing Street.

Minynantian
Minynantian
22 days ago

I think that early on that VG has been misrepresented in the press. His confident manner is being subjectively viewed by many as arrogant.

William
William
18 days ago

Someone has got it right at last. There are 200,000 reasons why he should not be there plus all those who are no longer with us due to Welsh government actions at the beginning of covid. This is the reason they get the big bucks. Referendum needed to finally solve if the assembly should exist. We are being ruled by a very small proportion of the electorate. There were more people who supported the anti 20 mph speed limit than voted for him One bad apple gone, time for this one to go also. Which council is going to be… Read more »

A Evans
A Evans
16 days ago

Brought up in a Senedd culture that thinks they can do or say “anything” without question!

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