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Welsh First Minister faces no-confidence vote

05 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Vaughan Gething arrives to give evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry – Image: James Manning

Emily Price

First Minister Vaughan Gething has insisted he is feeling “confident” about defeating the vote of no confidence he faces in the Senedd on Wednesday evening.

The Welsh Conservatives tabled the motion following the collapse of the co-operation agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru.

The embattled First Minister has been embroiled in a series of rows over a huge donation he accepted from a convicted polluter and the sacking of a junior minister.

The £200,000 donation to his campaign to become Welsh Labour Leader was the largest donation accepted by an individual in Welsh political history.

The donor, millionaire businessman David Neal, received two suspended prison sentences for dumping toxic sludge at a conservation site that ministers were trying to protect.

He is currently facing action over a separate incident regarding noxious fumes emanating from a landfill site in Haverfordwest which is causing public health concerns.

Earlier this week, the Mr Gething dodged questions put to him by the BBC on whether he knew the company was under a criminal probe when he accepted the cash.

The Welsh FM has always insisted he broke no rules.

Investigation

During First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday (June 4) Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies asked Mr Gething whether he thought he could win in a no confidence motion.

The First Minister said he was “confident” about the outcome.

He also made a point of characterising the no confidence vote as “non-binding” because it will take place in opposition time.

At this comment, jeers broke out in the Chamber with one Senedd Member shouting: “Arrogant! Arrogant!”

‘Lost confidence’

Plaid Cymru Leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth suggested the comment could signal that the First Minister won’t be taking the vote seriously if it goes against him.

He said the people of Wales have lost confidence in the First Minister.

The Plaid Cymru leader asked Mr Gething why he had declined the offer of a £200,000 loan from a Labour colleague so he could return the tainted cash.

The First Minister said he wouldn’t be able to pay such a large sum back.

He also said no-confidence votes were not uncommon and “part and parcel” of being a minister, with three having taken place in this Senedd term.

Mr Gething was due to attend a D-day event on Wednesday, which he has now cancelled.

iMessage

The confidence motion also raises the issue of sacked junior minister, Hannah Blythyn.

The First Minister removed Ms Blythyn from his Cabinet after he accused her of leaking a portion of a ministerial group chat to Nation.Cymru.

The chat was used by Welsh Government ministers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The then Health Minister told his ministerial colleagues he was deleting messages because they could be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.

The revelation led to calls for the First Minister to be recalled to the UK Covid Inquiry to give further information on what took place in the deleted discussion.

Ms Blythyn has denied the allegations completely saying her “integrity” remains intact.

Polling shows that more than half of the public think Mr Gething is “doing badly” as Welsh First Minister.

Some 57% of people think the 50-year-old Labour politician is doing a bad job at leading Wales, according to a YouGov poll of 1,066 Welsh voters for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University.

Just 15% said he was doing well, and the rest – 28% – said they did not know.

All opposition groups, including Jane Dodds, the Senedd’s only Liberal Democrat member, have indicated they will vote against Mr Gething.


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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
7 hours ago

What’s all the fuss about?
Does anyone seriously believe that his chums in Welsh Labour are going even to whisper dissent or in any way acknowledge his questionable activities?
Labour MSs will gather around in wagon grain circle – face it people of Cymru, he’ll be there ten years from now.
Unless of course the opposition wakes up…..

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 hours ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Take a look at the BBC article on this matter from this morning. He’s in big trouble. He has tried to influence NRW to cover up his lobbying and two of his members will not be present at the vote.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
6 hours ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Yup. Agree. And not only this, but his sheer arrogance.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
3 hours ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I hope you are correct!
IF the entire opposition support the motion, hopefully he’s cheese.

Garry Jones
Garry Jones
4 minutes ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Toast!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 hours ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

That Blazing Saddles scene comes to mind in that dream sequence where a sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) family was surrounded and formed their own defensive circle of one. Very reminiscent of Welsh Labour.

Last edited 4 hours ago by Y Cymro
Dewi Davies
Dewi Davies
6 hours ago

Maybe Jeremy Miles should vote against him.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 hours ago

If Vaughan Gething loses this confidence vote, and it’s highly likely he will seeing two Labour MSs are away on sick leave, cannot ignore its outcome like emperor Nero did Rome and continue to fiddle.

Last edited 4 hours ago by Y Cymro
Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
3 hours ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Don’t count on it! He’s arrogant enough to stay, supported by his limp, unthinking party hacks.

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