Vaughan Gething: Why the first minister of Wales is facing a confidence vote | UK News

Wales’s first minister Vaughan Gething is set to face a motion of no confidence on Wednesday.

After serving as both health and economy minister, Mr Gething made history in March after he was elected the first black leader of a European nation.

He has faced a turbulent first couple of months in office and a motion of no confidence has been tabled in his leadership.

Why was the vote of no confidence called?

The vote’s been called after concerns were raised, including by some within Welsh Labour, around a £200,000 donation to Mr Gething’s leadership campaign from a company whose owner was previously convicted of environmental offences.

Secondly, text messages from a ministerial group chat from during the pandemic were leaked last month, in which Mr Gething appeared to suggest his intention to delete messages.

This has prompted accusations from some opposition members that he may have misled the COVID Inquiry, but Mr Gething denies the messages were related to Welsh government business.

Hannah Blythyn, the deputy minister for social partnership was later sacked by Mr Gething for allegedly leaking to the media.

Plaid Cymru then withdrew from a cooperation agreement with Labour which had seen the party lend its support to the government on dozens of policies.

Vaughan Gething. Pic: Welsh government/PA

Who tabled the motion and who will support it?

The motion has been tabled by the Welsh Conservatives, who have 16 seats in the Senedd. Plaid Cymru have said they will support it too, they have 12 seats but one of its members is the presiding officer (Llywydd) and does not normally vote.

The sole Liberal Democrat member has also said she will vote for the motion.

Labour has 30 seats, though, half of the Senedd’s total number. One of the Labour MSs is the deputy presiding officer and therefore does not normally vote due to his role.

What happens if there’s a tie?

If there is a tie, then whoever is in the presiding officer chair at the time must vote to maintain the status quo. In this case, that would be against the motion of no confidence.

What if a member can’t attend?

If, for whatever reason, any member cannot attend the Senedd for a vote, then proxy votes can be arranged.

Pic: Joann Randles/Cover Images/AP
Pic: Joann Randles/Cover Images/AP

Is the vote binding?

As this is a motion of confidence in an individual minister and not the government as a whole, the vote is non-binding and the first minister would not have to step down, even if he were to lose the vote.

What have the first minister/Labour said?

Labour has accused the Conservatives of “playing politics” by bringing forward the motion.

Mr Gething said at First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday that he was “looking forward” to responding to the debate. He also reiterated that all rules had been followed and the ministerial code had not been broken.

Read more from Sky News:
How Senedd became ‘fully-fledge parliament’
Senedd to increase members by over 50%

What about the opposition parties?

The Conservatives say Mr Gething has “treated the people of Wales with contempt” and that his “authority is shot”.

Plaid Cymru say the first minister has “undermined his own office” and that his unwillingness to admit any error “signifies a worryingly care-free attitude”.

The Liberal Democrats say the first minister has “not met” the standards expected of him.


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