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Opinion

Big majority of readers think First Minister should resign after no-confidence vote

08 Jun 2024 1 minute read
Screengrab taken from Senedd TV of  Vaughan Gething during a Senedd committee hearing ahead of a vote of no confidence in him. Photo Senedd TV/PA Wire

A substantial majority of Nation.Cymru readers have indicated that they believe the First Minister should resign after losing a no-confidence vote in the Senedd last week.

The no confidence motion against Vaughan Gething was passed by 29 votes to 27, with all opposition members supporting it. Two Labour MSs – Hannah Blythyn and Lee Waters – were said to be ill and unable to vote.

The motion was non-binding and will not force Mr Gething to stand aside from his role as First Minister but the result is embarrassing for him, the Welsh Government and the UK Labour Party.

2,103 people voted in our self-selecting poll which ran for two days and closed at 6pm this evening (8 June). 91% of participants thought that the First minister should resign after losing the no-confidence vote.

Following Wednesday's vote, the Llywydd, presiding officer, Elin Jones said: “It is now for the First Minister to reflect on the view that the Senedd has just expressed and the motion that has been agreed.

“Confidence motions are political yes, but they are also intensely personal and while a vote of this nature will have consequences whatever they may be, I ask us all to treat each other with respect and kindness now.”

Integrity

Within minutes of the result being announced, Mr Gething indicated that he had no intention of stepping down.

Speaking to broadcasters, he said his integrity had been brought into question.

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.”

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 following the First Minister's comments.

Scandals

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 Nation.Cymru revealed he had accepted a donation from a man convicted of environmental offences during his run to be Welsh Labour leader.

He has also refused to show any evidence to explain why he sacked Hannah Blythyn from his government, after he accused her of leaking messages.

The First Minister’s decision followed a Nation.Cymru article 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.

The First Minister 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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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
4 days ago

If all the rules regarding donations were followed then the rules are in urgent need of updating! There should be rules covering who can donate, who can’t donate, how much and how often.

Didn’t the chair of the COVID inquiry rule that it was for the chair to decide what messages were relevant or not and on that basis all messages were to be handed over? It wasn’t up to the first minister to decide!

Rick Bull
Rick Bull
4 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Even messages unrelated to government? Did the inquiry really demand to see threads with the other half discussing what to have for tea?

There are certainly questions to be answered and donation policy absolutely needs to be reformed across the UK. All of which is the job of a standards committee, not the court of public opinion.

But this political lynching for a first offence of causing offence is beyond the pale.

CapM
CapM
4 days ago
Reply to  Rick Bull

“But this political lynching for a first offence of causing offence is beyond the pale.”

When needs be Starmer will do the “political lynching”.
A liability is a liability “first offence” or not.

Jon Coles
Jon Coles
4 days ago

Let’s be clear. The VONC motion had three limbs. (1) Integrity; (2) Transparency; (3) Judgment. “Integrity” was one part of the VONC. Setting that aside, a FM who lacks political judgment and fails to convince a majority of members is (on its own) enough to give pause for thought. And Vaughan Gething’s judgment of the mood and sentiment is enough to damn him. When you add in the desperate hiding behind set of standards that are deliberately not open to public scrutiny, ( the transparency test) he’s not doubly lacking. Instead, His insolent disregard for the Welsh public is squared.… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Jon Coles
Daf
Daf
4 days ago

Politicians and SPADS don’t understand this basic point. When a politician accepts a large donation which stinks – the donor was a man convicted of environmental crimes, and was the subject of a criminal investigation at the time of the donation – the fact no rules seem to have been broken reassures no one. It just makes the public think the rules are broken. And the loss of faith, in politicians and government, just gets worse.

Daf
Daf
4 days ago

Gething will be gone as soon as the General Election is over. Labour don’t want the embarrassment of a Welsh Government Labour leader resigning because of a no confidence vote affecting their
Westminster chances before then. Wales will have a zombie government in the interim.

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