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First Minister Vaughan Gething faces potential vote of no confidence

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WALES’ First Minister Vaughan Gething is poised to confront a vote of no confidence when the Senedd reconvenes next week. The Welsh Conservatives are expected to table the motion ahead of the 18:00 BST deadline on Wednesday, with the vote scheduled for 5 June.

Mr Gething has been under intense scrutiny after accepting £200,000 in donations for his Welsh Labour leadership campaign from a company owned by an individual convicted of environmental offences. This controversy has only added to the pressure he faces.

For the vote of no confidence to succeed, at least one Labour Member of the Senedd would need to either support the motion or abstain. Labour currently holds 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd. The motion’s passage would also require backing from Plaid Cymru, who recently withdrew from their co-operation agreement with Welsh Labour.

On 17 May, Senedd Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies stated that it was “odds-on” a no confidence motion would be initiated. His comments followed the dismissal of Minister Hannah Blythyn by Mr Gething for allegedly leaking messages to the media, a claim she denies.

Despite the controversy, Mr Gething has maintained that the donations were declared and registered according to the rules. The £31,000 of unspent campaign funds is being donated by the Labour Party to “progressive causes”.

Even if Mr Gething loses the vote, it would not be binding as it is being tabled during opposition time. Nonetheless, it would place the First Minister in a precarious position and come at an inopportune moment for the UK Labour Party amid a general election campaign.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has not confirmed how his party would vote on a no confidence motion, but he has acknowledged that the donations controversy and Ms Blythyn’s sacking have become significant distractions. Speaking on BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement on 19 May, Mr ap Iorwerth remarked, “There is not much point in bringing a vote of no confidence in the Senedd when you know pretty much that Labour are confident that they will circle the wagons. They will support their leader.”

The situation in Wales contrasts with recent events in Scotland, where former First Minister Humza Yousaf ended the power-sharing agreement with the Greens and resigned before facing a vote of no confidence. Without Green support, he was uncertain of winning.

There remain several factors that could influence whether the Conservatives proceed with the vote. The disciplined nature of the Welsh Labour Party in the Senedd and the potential consequences for any Labour rebels make defection unlikely. Additionally, the ongoing general election campaign raises the stakes, making any Labour rebellion even less probable due to the potential for significant political fallout.

Commenting ahead of the vote, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said: “This vote is about cleaning up politics in Wales. We all expect our leaders to meet the high standards that their office requires, and the First Minister has not met those standards.

“Vaughan Gething has had the opportunity over the recent months to do the right thing and return the donation yet has failed to do so.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see a different kind of politics in Wales and across the UK and that’s why we have called for a cap on donations to political parties.”

Crime

Police appeal for information following assault at railway station

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OFFICERS in Pembrokeshire are investigating a report of an assault on a woman that happened outside Haverfordwest Railway Station at approximately 8:10pm on Monday (Jun 17).

One man, aged 49, was arrested on suspicion of common assault and remains in police custody.

Did you witness the assault or have any information that could help officers with their investigation? If so, get in touch:

🖥️ | https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

📧 | [email protected]

💬 | Direct message us on social media

📞 | 101

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Busy weekend for the rescue team at HM Coastguard Dale

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HM Coastguard Dale said they were paged at 05.35 HRS to assist police in the Milford Haven area on Sunday (Jun 16).

Police received a call at 5am, raising concern for the welfare of an individual.

The individual is now safe they said.

Angle Lifeboat RNLI also attended the incident

Then at 10.13 HRS the team were called on again after a vessel reported a person face down on a cliff near Wooltack point. The team made their way to the scene and rendezvous with NCI Wooltack Point. It was quickly ascertained that this was a false call with good intentions. Team then stood down.

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Tributes paid to ‘much-loved’ couple who died in A477 collision

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THE FAMILIES of a much-loved couple who died in a collision on the A477 on Thursday, June 13, 2024, have paid tribute to them.

Katie Worrell, aged 25, and Adam Muskett, aged 27, were involved in a two-vehicle collision between Llanddowror and Red Roses at around 4pm on Thursday, June 13. Two cars were involved in the collision – a black Jaguar and a black Ford Fiesta.

A statement from Katie’s family said: “Katie was a much-loved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin. She lived life to the full, loving to travel and achieving so much in such a short time, she graduated with a Masters and worked hard. She loved her friends and Adam beyond words. Katie was kind, caring and beautiful and our lives will never be the same without her.”

Adam’s family have issued a statement to say: “Adam, our loving son, brother, grandson and nephew. He loved life, his friends, Tenby, football and Katie very much. How do we move on without you, your big kind heart and cheeky smile. We are heartbroken and forever proud.”

Anyone travelling on the A477, at or near to that location at the time, is requested to contact Police.

Investigating officers would particularly like to speak to any motorists who were in the area at that time who have dash cam in their vehicles.

Anyone with any information can contact the police on 101.

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