Welsh first minister Vaughan Gething loses no-confidence vote

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free

Vaughan Gething, first minister of Wales, has lost a vote of no confidence just 77 days into his leadership, in a move that throws the Welsh Labour party into chaos in the middle of a UK general election campaign.

The motion of no confidence against Gething was approved by 29 votes to 27 on Wednesday afternoon after two of his Labour colleagues in the Welsh Senedd called in sick.

While the ballot is not binding, the defeat is a significant blow to the Welsh first minister’s authority.

Gething insisted he would continue as first minister despite losing the vote, saying he was “proud” to be first minister. “It’s what I’ll carry on doing,” he added.

The no-confidence vote was called by the opposition Conservative party in the Senedd after a dispute over donations received by Gething when he was running for the Welsh Labour leadership last year.

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Vaughan Gething has lost the confidence of the people of Wales. He has lost the confidence of the Senedd.”

Gething, who was previously economy minister, received £200,000 for his campaign to become Welsh Labour leader between December 2023 and January 2024 from recycling firm Dauson Environmental Group. 

The company’s owner, David Neal, received a suspended prison sentence in 2013 over the illegal dumping of waste.  

David Neal from Dauson Environmental Group
David Neal, owner of Dauson Environmental Group, was convicted over his company’s illegal dumping of waste. Vaughan Gething accepted campaign money from Dauson © Richard Swingler Photography

Neal Soil Suppliers, a subsidiary of Dauson, had received a £400,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales in February 2023 for the purchase of a solar farm. 

The economy minister is responsible for DBW, which is wholly owned by the Welsh government but run independently. Gething has said he has never taken any decisions in relation to Dauson.

Gething told the Senedd that he regretted the motion of no confidence and claimed it had been designed to question his integrity.

“Like so many of you in this chamber, I have dedicated my adult life to public services and to Wales,” he said. “Even in the midst of an election campaign, it does hurt deeply when my intentions are questioned.”

Gething, who became first minister in March, survived a similar vote at the start of May. 

But with Labour holding 30 out of the 60 seats in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, and other parties set to vote against him, Gething needed every Labour member to back him on Wednesday afternoon.

Two Labour members of the Senedd, Hannah Blythyn and Lee Waters, who are both former ministers in the Welsh government, did not attend the vote because they were said to be unwell.

Waters had criticised Gething in last month’s debate, saying the donations should be returned because they were a “mistake”.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, leader of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, urged Gething to “do the honourable thing” and resign to prevent further instability at the heart of the government in Cardiff.

“The Senedd has spoken on behalf of the people of Wales — we have no confidence in the Labour first minister,” he said.

“His government is clearly in disarray . . . by honouring the result of the vote, Welsh government and our Senedd can move on from this regretful episode.”

Emily Thornberry, shadow attorney-general, said the vote would not knock Labour’s national election campaign “off path”.

She told the BBC: “The people of Wales are interested in the general election and how we can make their lives better rather than this.”

But one Welsh Labour figure said Gething had failed to move on from his “poor judgment call” on the donations because of his “arrogant handling” of the situation.

“Had it not been for the election being called he’d have probably gone by now,” they said.

Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celebrity News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Kylie Jenner Changes Son’s Name and Reveals Baby ‘Isn’t Wolf Anymore’: It ‘Didn’t Feel Like It Was Him’

Kylie Jenner revealed that more than six weeks after her son Wolf’s…

William Harry Finally on ‘Old Buddy Terms’ despite Rift Worsening after Sussex’s Quit Royal Duties, Mirror Claims

Royal brothers Prince William and Prince Harry were raised normally by their late…

Egypt Daoud Dean: All about Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Son Who Has an Exceptional Musical Talent

A crazy love story between singer Alicia Keys and rapper-producer Swizz Beatz…

Kate Gosselin’s Son Is Defended by Dad’s Ex from Real Mother Who ‘Caged’ Him in Institution for Years

Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin’s glamorized marriage ended with Kate taking custody…