Vaughan Gething: Wales's first minister wants 'new start' after losing confidence vote

11 June 2024, 12:32 | Updated: 11 June 2024, 15:36

Wales's embattled first minister Vaughan Gething has said he wants a "new start" after losing a vote of no confidence.

Vaughan Gething was facing questions from Senedd (Welsh parliament) members for the first time since he lost the vote on his leadership last week from 29-27.

The motion was non-binding and the first minister, who was only elected in March, has vowed to continue in post.

The vote was called by the opposition after a controversial £200k donation to Mr Gething's leadership campaign.

He said he took both the debate and the vote "very seriously" but that opposition parties did not honour a pairing arrangement for two Labour members who were unwell.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies asked the first minister if he was confident the absent Labour members would have backed him in the ballot.

"It's not for us to have a running commentary on the two people who are not well," Mr Gething said.

"I want those people to be able to come back when they're well and able to do so."

The first minister said he did not think it was an "extraordinary thing" to want a new start.

"The vote took place and the numbers are the numbers on the day," he said.

"I don't think it is an extraordinary thing to want a new start for a job I have been in for two months."

'Regret the impact of the choice'

Mr Gething said he regretted the way the last three months had been "covered and reported".

"I regret the impact of the choice I made, within all of the rules at the time, and I would not want myself or any of my colleagues to have to go through that again," he said.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth asked what evidence was used in the first minister's decision to sack a minister from his government for allegedly leaking to the media.

Hannah Blythyn, the former deputy minister for social partnership, has strenuously denied the allegations.

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"In coming to a decision, I did take advice from the permanent secretary about the process to make sure I was acting within the ministerial code," Mr Gething said.

"The evidence, such as it is, is relatively straight forward."

But he suggested publishing the evidence would not be the best way to "reintegrate the member" in the Senedd.