First Minister Vaughan Gething loses 'no confidence' vote

Vaughan Gething was seen shaking his head
-Credit: (Image: Senedd TV)


Vaughan Gething, the embattled First Minister of Wales, has lost a vote of no confidence tabled by the Welsh Conservatives. The motion follows the collapse of the co-operation deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru and a series of rows involving Mr Gething.

He lost the vote on his leadership in the Senedd on Wednesday. The motion is non-binding and will not force Mr Gething to stand aside from his role as First Minister, but the result will be highly embarrassing for him.

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 Mr Gething accepted a donation from a man convicted of environmental offences during his run to be Welsh Labour leader.

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Mr Gething has also refused to show any evidence to explain why he sacked Senedd member Hannah Blythyn from his government, after he accused her of leaking messages to the media. Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

The First Minister’s decision followed a report on the Nation.Cymru news website 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.

He 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.

Vaughan Gething looks visibly upset
Vaughan Gething looks visibly upset -Credit:Senedd TV

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”.

He wiped his eyes and drank some water as he recovered himself. There was also clapping in the public gallery during the debate.

Ms Howells said she and the rest of the Welsh Labour group are behind Mr Gething and would not resign even if he lost. She accused the Conservatives of refusing to “pair” with Labour members.

Following the result, Llywydd 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.

“The people of Wales expect that of their Senedd.”

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