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Welsh First Minister faces a fresh crunch vote

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The First Minister of Wales is set to face another crunch vote, a month after losing a motion of no-confidence.

The Welsh Conservatives have tabled a motion in the Senedd for next week, in the hopes of compelling Vaughan Gething, the Labour leader of Wales, to publish the evidence he used to sack Hannah Blythyn from the government.

This is the second major vote the First Minister has faced since becoming leader in March.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Blythyn was removed from the government in May, following accusations by Mr Gething that she leaked a screenshot of messages to the media.

The member of the Senedd for Delyn denied she was behind the leak in a statement to the chamber on Tuesday and insisted she was shown no evidence before her dismissal.

Mr Gething told the Welsh Parliament on Wednesday that it was “clear” the leak came from Ms Blythyn, “having crossed check the photograph with a full set of messages”.

The Conservatives have called for the motion saying Ms Blythyn’s statement contradicts the First Minister’s claims that there is evidence.

Andrew RT Davies MS, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Yet again, because he will not provide any answers voluntarily, the First Minister has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the Senedd.

“The First Minister expects us to take his word for it that he had evidence to sack Hannah Blythyn, but sadly, thanks to his behaviour in office, the people of Wales cannot take his word for it.

The First Minister of Wales Vaughan Gething with Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer (Alastair Grant/PA)
The First Minister of Wales Vaughan Gething with Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer (Alastair Grant/PA)

“It’s time to get answers, and I hope Members across the Senedd will join us next week in voting for transparency in government.”

Mr Gething told the Senedd on Wednesday he did not intend to release any further information unless everyone involved in the message group was “content for that to happen”.

One member, Mike Hedges, said he was content for his name to be unredacted.

The Tories have said that if their motion passes, Mr Gething may be compelled to release any evidence under the Government of Wales Act 2006, which “grants the Senedd the power to require the First Minister to produce documents relevant to the exercise of Welsh Ministers’ functions”.

Mr Gething lost the previous vote in June in part because Ms Blythyn and another Labour MS, Lee Waters, were not present.

Ms Blythyn has since revealed she was signed off sick following her removal from government, which led to “acute anxiety and stress”.

The Welsh Government has been contacted for comment.

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