Vaughan Gething facing no confidence vote next week

Vaughan Gething
-Credit: (Image: Senedd TV)


Vaughan Gething is facing a no confidence vote in the Senedd next week. The Welsh Tories have put forward a motion which says the Senedd has lost support for the First Minister, who has been in post for less than three months.

Mr Gething was elected as Welsh Labour leader on March 16, becoming First Minister in a vote the following week. But his campaign and first weeks in office have been dogged by questions and now Senedd members will have to vote on his future.

The way the Senedd maths works means that for the Conservative-tabled motion to succeed, Labour members would have to either abstain or vote for it - so vote against Mr Gething in a hugely public and damaging way. Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservatives leader, said the First Minister had a "litany of unanswered questions" and that it was "time to put an end to the obfuscation, the drift and the infighting." Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

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The debate and vote will take place next Wednesday, on June 5, Wales Online reported. The text of the motion tabled for debate by the Welsh Conservatives is as follows:

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the genuine public concern over the First Minister accepting a £200,000 donation for his Labour leadership campaign from a company owned by an individual who has two environmental criminal convictions, and regrets the poor judgement shown by the First Minister in accepting this donation, and his failure to repay it.

2. Regrets the publication of Welsh Government ministerial messages where the First Minister states his intention to delete messages, that could have later been helpful to the Covid-19 inquiry in its deliberations around decision making at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the First Minister telling the UK Covid-19 inquiry that he didn't delete any messages.

3. Notes the dismissal by the First Minister of the Minister for Social Partnership from his Government, and regrets that the First Minister is unwilling to publish his supporting evidence for the dismissal, and notes the former Minister for Social Partnership's strong denial of the accusations levelled against her.

4. For the above reasons, has no confidence in the First Minister.

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: "Next week Senedd Members will have the chance to have their say on Vaughan Gething's judgement, his transparency, and his truthfulness."

Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd
Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd -Credit:PA

"The litany of unanswered questions has paralysed the Welsh Government to the point that Gething has been completely unable to take action to address record NHS waiting lists, sliding educational attainment and high economic inactivity. It's time to put an end to the obfuscation, the drift and the infighting and vote no confidence in Vaughan Gething."

It emerged before Mr Gething was elected First Minister that he had accepted £200,000 from a businessman convicted of environmental offences despite knowing about the convictions. He had also taken money from David Neal in his unsuccessful bid to be elected First Minister in 2018.

Mr Gething said repeatedly he has declared all donations correctly and has no questions to answer about influence on his leadership as a result of Mr Neal's donations. Mr Gething spent more than £220,000 in his campaign to be elected, it emerged after the accounts were filed.

The £200,000 from Dauson Environmental is a huge amount in Welsh political terms, in support of his campaign. It then emerged the company was applying for permission to build a solar farm on a site which requires Welsh Government permission due to its protected location and has received a £400,000 loan from Development Bank Wales, which is funded by Welsh Government. Mr Gething denied he had had any influence on either the loan or future planning decisions.

Mr Gething was publicly criticised by one of his own MSs, Lee Waters, who told him to return the money. Mr Waters told the Senedd chamber on May 2. He has also faced votes tabled by opposition parties that there should be both an independent investigation, and a future cap on donations.

Lee Waters, former deputy minister for climate change with responsibility for transport
Lee Waters, former deputy minister for climate change with responsibility for transport -Credit:WalesOnline/Rob Browne

He also faced outrage over a newly-emerged 2020 message in which he said he was deleting messages related to the Welsh Government's handling of the pandemic, and had to deny he had committed perjury while giving evidence to the Covid-19 inquiry.

On May 16, Mr Gething sacked Hannah Blythyn, his social partnership minister, accusing her of leaking information to the media. Ms Blythyn denied the allegation but Mr Gething refused to release any evidence about how he had come to his conclusion.

Plaid Cymru then quit the co-operation agreement, the deal in which the party was working with Welsh Government. Their leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said at the time: "I remain deeply concerned that the First Minister has failed to pay back the £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a company convicted of environmental offences, and believe it demonstrates a significant lack of judgement. Money left over has now been passed on to Keir Starmer's Labour Party. I am worried by the circumstances around the decision to sack a member of the Government this week relating to matters that should be in the public domain already."

Public support for Mr Gething has plummeted. Mr Gething's support has dropped 27 points in the last month. His net approval rating is now down 17%, according to polling by Redfield and Wilton who questioned 900 people in Wales between May 18 and 19.

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