Welsh Labour hosted a general election campaign launch and refused to let anyone talk to Vaughan Gething

Welsh Labour leader Vaughan Gething and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner launch the Welsh Labour general election campaign
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


First Minister Vaughan Gething refused to give any media interviews at his own party's general election campaign launch. Welsh Labour held an event in Llandudno on Friday to launch their campaign ahead of the July 4 ballot.

But Mr Gething refused interviews with the BBC and ITV. Mr Gething was attending the event along with the UK party's deputy leader Angela Rayner and the shadow secretary of state Jo Stevens.

When media arrived sources have said the party's press team initially told them the event could not be filmed but access was eventually allowed. After pushback from journalists Ms Rayner was made available for interviews, we understand.

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When further questions were asked about access to the politicians, the most senior the party has in Wales, Ms Stevens was made available but access to Mr Gething on camera was denied. Media were told he had given interviews the day before.

Media were alerted to the event at 5.10pm on Thursday ahead of it starting at 8.30am on Friday. The operational note confirmed there would be "remarks and a short media round".

Shadow Wales secretary Jo Stevens, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, and Welsh Labour leader Vaughan Gething on the prom in Llandudno
Shadow Wales secretary Jo Stevens, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, and Welsh Labour leader Vaughan Gething on the prom in Llandudno -Credit:Getty Images

Mr Gething has been under fire for a number of weeks over donations in his campaign, totalling £200,000, which were received from businessman David Neal who was convicted of environmental offences. The donations themselves and where any leftover campaign funds would go has dominated the media for a number of weeks. Then Mr Gething sacked his social partnership minister Hannah Blythyn and alleged she leaked private messages to the media, which she denies. For the latest politics news in Wales sign up to our newsletter here.

Vaughan Gething embraces Angela Rayner
Vaughan Gething embraces Angela Rayner -Credit:Getty Images

The Welsh Conservatives group leader Andrew RT Davies said: "Vaughan Gething is clearly seen as a liability by Labour politicians on both ends of the M4. Gething’s government is struck by inertia at a time when NHS waiting lists are at record levels and yet this is Keir Starmer’s blueprint for government. Labour-run Wales is a stark warning of what a Labour Government looks like."

Dwyfor Meironydd Plaid Cymru candidate Liz Saville Roberts said: “Vaughan Gething’s £200,000 donation is toxic – and Labour knows it. But as the First Minister of Wales he has a duty to be answerable to the people of Wales. His aversion to scrutiny isn’t just bad for Labour – it’s bad for Welsh democracy.

“With Vaughan Gething in hiding the people of Wales need leadership more than ever. Plaid Cymru has a positive message of fairness and ambition which we are more than happy to put to scrutiny. We are ready to provide the transparency and accountability Wales deserves.”

Welsh Labour has been asked to comment.

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