Labour politician gives dismissive response when asked about Vaughan Gething's job

Emily Thornberry speaking to LBC
-Credit: (Image: LBC)

A senior Labour politician has given a terse radio interview where she attempted to defend Welsh First Minister Vaughan Gething after he lost a Senedd no-confidence vote. Speaking to Lewis Goodall on LBC the shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry attempted to explain why it was right for Mr Gething to remain the most powerful man in Wales.

She began by using the default line put forward by Labour since Mr Gething lost the vote. She said: "I really think it is sad at the time of a general election that the opposition parties, the Conservatives in particular, are resorting to these sort of gimmicks."

To this an incredulous Mr Goodall said: "He's lost a vote of no confidence. Two of his own members didn't vote for him. How can he possibly stay on?"

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A dismissive Ms Thornberry said: "Two of his own members were ill and were not able to attend. If they had it would have gone another way. It's a non-binding gesture and I think there are more important things going on in Wales than that."

The two MSs who did not vote were Lee Waters and Hannah Blythyn. Both were absent from the debate and vote on Wednesday due to illness. Mr Waters has been outspoken about the donation row that has dogged Mr Gething's short reign in the top job while Ms Blythyn was recently sacked by Mr Gething for allegedly leaking information to the media, which she denies.

The host then posed a scenario to the shadow attorney general. He said: "If Keir Starmer lost a motion of no-confidence in the House of Commons in him personally or in the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) he would stay on? He would be fine with that?"

She replied: "He is not going to lose one is he though?" Mr Goodall said: "So it's a matter of practicality?" Ms Thornberry then said: "No, it's not a matter of practicality, I am just trying to answer some of your more odd questions."

Mr Goodall said: "It's an odd question of the First Minister of Wales losing a no-confidence vote? Isn't that rather dismissive of the Senedd?"

She replied: "No, I wasn't dismissing that. What I was dismissing was the idea that Keir Starmer, if he was elected, would face a vote of no-confidence... That would be an odd thing to happen."