People had a simple response to Labour MS who said she couldn't forgive the Tories for timing of no confidence debate

Joyce Watson standing and speaking in the Senedd
-Credit: (Image: senedd.tv)


A Labour Senedd member has sparked mixed reactions online after saying she will "never forgive" the Welsh Conservatives for tabling a no-confidence motion in the First Minister on the same day as some D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth. The event, which Mid and West Wales MS Joyce Watson said the First Minister could otherwise have attended, included addresses from the King, the Queen and the Prince of Wales.

Speaking ahead of the no-confidence vote on Wednesday, Labour MS Joyce Watson told Welsh Conservative members: "What you've done today is put a focus here. You have prevented people like me being represented by the First Minister down in Portsmouth. I spent this morning watching those veterans.

"If my father had survived and lived long enough, he would have been one of them. I can tell you now what he would have thought of your actions. He would have thought they were absolutely disrespectful to all veterans, to all armed service personnel that you profess, from those benches, time and time again, to have some care about.

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"Well, you don't. You have picked this day. You could have picked any other day. You have no end of opportunities to pull this stunt you're doing today, but you chose this day." She continued, adding: "You will not be forgiven."

Vaughan Gething lost the vote but vowed to continue as First Minister. When the clip was shared on social media many were frustrated with Ms Watson's comments. For the latest analysis of the biggest stories, sign up to the Wales Matters newsletter here.

A large number of people had the same thing to say - that the commemorations in Portsmouth were only part of the build up to the anniversary of D-Day. The main ceremonies are today, Thursday, June 6, and Mr Gething is attending them. He has travelled to Normandy to join world leaders on the beaches where the landings took place.

One person, Neil Roberts, wrote on X: "A bit of a strange argument considering this is exactly what our brave soldiers fought for... They fought to defend democracy. Today was an exercise of our democratic institution. Try and spin it as you like but that's just a fact."

Others pointed out that "everyone else had to do their job as normal today" and said her comments were a "deflection" from the issue being debated. Some made the point that Wednesday was the day for opposition day motions, meaning the Welsh Conservatives had very little option but to hold the debate on that day.

But many also supported Ms Watson's speech, saying "good for her" and that the timing of the vote was "absolutely appalling." One, Elizabeth McLean, added: "I am not for Labour but respect to this lady well said."