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Welsh Labour candidate says he doesn’t want to campaign with Gething

31 May 2024 4 minute read
Henry Tufnell

Martin Shipton

A Welsh Labour candidate has confirmed that he doesn’t want Vaughan Gething to campaign in his constituency during the run-up to the general election because of the controversy surrounding him.

The news puts further pressure on the First Minister in advance of the no confidence motion he is facing in the Senedd next week.

Henry Tufnell is standing in the new seat of Mid and South Pembrokeshire, where a company in the group that donated £200,000 to Mr Gething’s leadership campaign is facing enforcement action over the persistent emission of noxious fumes from a landfill site it owns.

Businessman David Neal, whose Dauson Environmental Group made the controversial donation to Mr Gething, has received two suspended prison sentences for environmental crimes – one for illegally dumping toxic sludge in the protected Gwent Levels wetland landscape near Cardiff, and the second for failing to clean up the site where the sludge was dumped.

Withyhedge landfill site

Another of Mr Neal’s companies, RML Ltd, has greatly upset residents who live close to the Withyhedge landfill site near Haverfordwest with a horrible stench over the last six months. Natural Resources Wales, the environmental regulator, is considering enforcement action against the firm.

At the same time the UK Covid-19 Inquiry has confirmed it is taking “very seriously” NationCymru’s further revelation that Mr Gething deleted iMessages exchanged on a ministerial group chat when he was the Health Minister during the pandemic.

“A message from Mr Gething leaked to us showed that he was deleting messages because otherwise they would be subject to disclosure under freedom of information legislation. Subsequently he misled the UK Covid Inquiry, claiming messages had been wiped during a refit of his mobile phone by the Senedd’s IT department and failing to mention that he had deleted some because he didn’t want them disclosed under FoI.

NationCymru has been told by multiple Labour sources that several general election candidates in Welsh seats have told Welsh Labour officials that they don’t want Mr Gething to make campaign appearances in their constituencies.

One Labour source told us: “The scandals surrounding Vaughan Gething are being raised on the doorstep. People don’t like the fact that he took such a huge amount of money from a convicted criminal and has refused to give it back. He’s seen as arrogant.

“Several candidates have made it clear that they don’t want him to appear with them during the election campaign. A number of candidates in north Wales have taken that position. There have been immense problems with Betsi Cadwaladr health board and Vaughan isn’t popular because he was seen as a dreadful Health Minister. That’s on top of the donations scandal, of course.”

Battleground seat

The Pembrokeshire constituency in which Henry Tufnell is standing is viewed as a battleground seat which it is crucial for Labour to win. He is hoping to defeat former Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb. As a candidate, Mr Tufnell is favoured by the party’s UK leadership. He defeated local contenders in a hard-fought selection campaign.

A prominent member of the local party told us: “Henry is very hardworking and is going down well with the people he meets. I would be astonished if he doesn’t get elected.”

We asked Mr Tufnell whether he was one of the general election candidates who had said they didn’t want to campaign with Mr Gething.

He replied: “Yes. I have worked closely with the campaigners trying to stop the smells from Withyhedge and don’t want to be distracted from that. I am determined to be a candidate who fights for Pembrokeshire.”

Asked whether the fact that Mr Gething had accepted donations totalling £200,000 from the owner of the landfill site was seen negatively by local people, Mr Tufnell responded: “Exactly.”

Significant

Another Labour source said: “It’s very significant that a candidate who is highly regarded by the party’s UK leadership is distancing himself from Vaughan Gething in this way.

“He and others have clearly come to the conclusion that Vaughan is a liability rather than an asset. It may even encourage some Labour MSs to abstain in the confidence vote.

With all the opposition MSs saying they will support the no confidence motion, it would only take one Labour MS to abstain to get it passed.

“If some of the Labour MSs are convinced that removing Vaughan Gething as First Minister would not damage the party’s performance in the general election, they might be inclined to abstain.

“Vaughan Gething is already damaged goods and he will continue to harm the party’s reputation in Wales for as long as he is First Minister.”


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Ron Daniels
Ron Daniels
6 days ago

Well done that man! He has the guts to say publicly what any Welsh Labour candidate or campaigner must be thinking right now. Why would a very hopeful candidate in a key target seat wish to associate with an unpopular national Leader who almost literally reeks of sleaze allegations ? This is also nothing new, similar happened with Boris Johnson at the 2022 Wales and England Local Elections. “STAY AWAY” was the message. Liability Johnson was out of office within four months of that campaign. With next week’s knife-edge No Confidence Vote looming, it looks like Gething may have even… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago

The Baroness has been Health Minister for three years, don’t forget and she is hopeless !

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
5 days ago

Concerns raised as Welsh Labour selects candidate with no local connections to stand at general electionhttps://nation.cymru/news/concerns-raised-as-welsh-labour-selects-candidate-with-no-local-connections-to-stand-at-general-election/
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Adrian
Adrian
5 days ago

Gething’s the classic ‘equity hire’. He’s never had a job outside of politics, he’s been mediocre at best in every role, and as leader he’s clocked up more scandals in a couple of months than even Johnson could manage in two years…but of course that’s all OK because he’s black? Well, he’s currently not being judged on the colour of his skin, but the content of his character.

CapM
CapM
5 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

“but of course that’s all OK because he’s black?”

That’s not an accurate representation of the situation at all.
There has been no use of that trope outside a few individuals here in Cymru.

Adrian
Adrian
5 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Evidence?

CapM
CapM
5 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

You made the initial statement.
It’s up to you to provide the evidence to back it up..

If you can produce enough examples of the trope being used by enough primary sources then you can claim you are correct in making it..

If not then I can claim I’m correct in dismissing it.

Llyn
Llyn
5 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

“He’s never had a job outside of politics” – not true he was a Solicitor.

Adrian
Adrian
5 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

For the Unions!

Evan
Evan
5 days ago

Not an easy thing for a candidate in a target seat to do. A sign of character.

Kelvin Rees
Kelvin Rees
2 days ago

Let’s see how he votes in the senydd with the vote of no confidence ,if he vote agianst gethin then he is worth voting for ,or will he vote for gethin and follow the party line knowing that the man is corrupt,if so then he is as corrupt and guilty as the welsh party leader

Paul Symons
Paul Symons
1 day ago

Was he with Vaughan Gething in Tenby over the weekend?

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