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Former Minister’s statement piles pressure on Vaughan Gething



A FORMER minister sacked by Vaughan Gething for allegedly leaking to the media made a dramatic personal statement in the Welsh Parliament on Tuesday (Jul 9).

Hannah Blythyn told Senedd members she had not leaked information to the media, was never shown any evidence that showed she had done so and was never told she was under investigation.


Mr Gething has refused to publish the information he relied upon to dismiss Ms Blythyn and refused to hold a formal leak inquiry. The First Minister has also blocked disclosure of the Ministerial Code of Conduct. The Code for Westminster is publicly available.

The First Minister dismissed Hannah Blythyn from his government after a leak revealed that he had not disclosed information about Welsh Government decisions to the UK Covid Inquiry.

In the message published on Nation Cymru, Mr Gething said he would delete the exchange to avoid its disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

He originally claimed the messages were “internal Labour group discussions”. However, that is untrue. The leaked exchange relates to ministerial discussions of arrangements to grade students’ exams during the pandemic.

Mr Gething could be recalled to answer questions about what other information he deleted or has not disclosed.

The First Minister has previously absented himself from the Senedd Chamber when he is the subject of criticism.

On Tuesday, the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, called Ms Blythyn to make her statement immediately before Mr Gething unveiled his legislative programme.

Tapping his fingers impatiently and with a face that could curdle milk, the First Minister had to sit there and take it.


Hannah Blythyn began her statement by saying there had been times when she was unsure “I would or could stand or speak” in the Senedd debating chamber again.

“Whilst I will not share the detail, I will share that I have formally raised concerns about the process by which I was removed from government, including not being shown any alleged evidence before being sacked, not being made aware that I was ever under investigation and that at no point was I advised or was it evidenced that I may have broken the ministerial code.”

Ms Blythyn acknowledged that it was “within the gift of any first minister to appoint and remove members of their government.”

But in a possible reference to the circumstances around the death of Carl Sargeant, the MS said she had “very real concerns that lessons have not been learned from the past”.

She said there had been “speculation about my circumstances and whether I have been well enough to work”.

“This has ranged from what was tantamount to misinformation and what can be put down to misunderstanding.

“It should not be surprising that what happened has been hugely detrimental to me on a personal level and led to acute anxiety and stress.”

Ms Blythyn continued: “We’ve talked about kinder politics often in this place, but we cannot have kinder politics without kinder people.

“We won’t get to better politics without being better people.

“It has been a privilege to serve in my country’s government, particularly under the leadership of Mark Drakeford.”


The Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said the comments “raise more questions for the first minister”.

“People will now rightly ask whether the first minister publicly sacked Hannah without sufficient evidence that she was guilty of leaking,” he said.

“The personal consequences for Hannah of that sacking were clearly enormous, and the first minister owes her a full and humble apology.”

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth wrote to Mr Gething urging him to publish the evidence supporting his sacking of Ms Blythyn.

He called on the first minister to make an “urgent statement in the Senedd tomorrow setting out your response to the concerns raised in today’s personal statement by the member for Delyn”.


Pressure on Mr Gething after the disastrous start to his tenure as First Minister eased when Rishi Sunak called a snap General Election. However, despite Labour’s victory in the Westminster poll, things look far less rosy for Labour in Wales.

The Party’s vote share in Wales dropped on July 4, and the First Minister’s personal approval rating is desperately poor, falling behind Rhun ap Iortwerth’s and Andrew RT Davies’s.

A poll for Barn Cymru shows Labour support for the 2026 Senedd elections at an all-time low and suggests that Labour might lose its death grip on the Welsh Parliament.

Hannah Blythyn’s statement heightens the focus on Mr Gething’s judgement and lack of transparency.

MSs unwilling to rock the boat during the General Election campaign could now be emboldened by Ms Blythyn’s full-on denial of the claims against her by the First Minister.

If Mr Gething cannot come up with a convincing explanation for her dismissal that flatly contradicts the former minister’s statement, discontent will grow, especially amongst the overwhelming majority of his colleagues who did not back him in the Labour leadership election.

Personal factors also come into play. Hannah Blythyn is popular, and Mr Gething is not.

The real danger for Mr Gething is that he might believe he has evidence to support his decision but cannot disclose it because of its source or how it was gathered. In that case, there is no way he can win the battle with Hannah Blythyn, and it could cost him his position sooner rather than later.


Sumatran tiger cub named Zaza is first ever born in a Welsh zoo



MANOR WILDLIFE PARK said this week that it is thrilled to announce the birth of a Sumatran tiger cub, named Zaza, marking a momentous occasion as the first tiger cub to be born in a zoo in Wales. Born on the May 25, Zaza is a symbol of hope and a critical addition to the global effort to conserve this critically endangered species.

The birth of Zaza represents a significant milestone not only for Manor Wildlife Park but also for wildlife conservation in Wales. The Sumatran tiger, one of the world’s most endangered tiger subspecies, faces severe threats from habitat loss and poaching. Zaza’s arrival brings renewed focus to the importance of protecting these majestic creatures and their natural habitats.

Rick Newton, the Animal Manager, expressed his excitement and pride, saying, “We are overjoyed to welcome Zaza to our family. This birth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, who have worked tirelessly to create an environment where these magnificent animals can thrive. Zaza’s arrival is a beacon of hope for the conservation of Sumatran tigers, and we are committed to ensuring she grows up healthy and strong.”

The birth was monitored closely by the park’s veterinary and animal care teams to ensure both mother and cub received the best possible care. Zaza has been thriving under the watchful eye of her mother, Terima, and the two have been bonding beautifully since the birth.

Visitors to Manor Wildlife Park will now have the opportunity to see Zaza as she begins to venture out of her den and explore her surroundings. The cub will be viewable to the public during regular park hours, allowing visitors to witness this historic moment and learn more about the park’s ongoing conservation efforts to protect Sumatran tigers.

The park’s conservation programme is dedicated to supporting global efforts to preserve endangered species through breeding initiatives, habitat conservation, and public education. Zaza’s birth is a hopeful reminder of the impact that dedicated conservation work can have on preserving our planet’s wildlife.

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Tenby Town Council demands urgent action from Welsh Water



TENBY TOWN COUNCIL says its members were horrified at the pollution caused by failures of the sewage infrastructure which recently caused pollution warnings to be issued to the public.

They have called for Dwr Cymru to take urgent action to replace the rising main (pipe) that keeps failing.

The Mayor, Cllr. Dai Morgan , has written to the Chief Executive of Dwr Cymru outlining concerns and asking for action to be taken. A copy of the letter together with a statement from the Mayor is in the comments.

Tenby Town Council said on social media: “We are not new to this issue, We are not just reacting to events. 18 months ago we formed a Safe Seas Working Group led by Cllr Whitehurst. This group has brought together Dwr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and PCC to examine all aspects of sewage management in and around Tenby. Detailed analysis has shown when there has been spillages or releases and looked into the reasons why. It is in this group that, following

“Tenby Town Council raised the issue, that it was acknowledged that this pipe needed to be replaced.

“Cllr Whitehurst has formed a formidable working relationship with all parties and we hope this relationship will help to bring the timescale forward to replace the rising main.

“We will continue to press all agencies to fulfil their responsibilities and will soon be meeting with all parties. In the meantime we are saying loud and clear that this pipe needs replacing quickly.

“Our wonderful clean seas, our blue flag beaches and our precious environment are too important to those who live here, those that visit and to the economy of not only Pembrokeshire but the whole of Wales.”

Tenby’s Mayor Cllr Morgan released a statement on Friday (Jul 12). Cllr Morgan said: “The recent fracture of the rising main to Tenby Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) has once again brought to light the critical nature of infrastructure maintenance and the dire consequences of its failure. This incident, marking the second such occurrence in as many years, has not only resulted in environmental pollution but has also cast a shadow over the safety of local recreational waters, with advisories against swimming in the sea—a blow to the community’s spirit and its tourism-driven economy.

“Tenby Town Council’s meeting with representatives from Dŵr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and Pembrokeshire County Council earlier this year had concluded with assurances that the rising main was on the radar as a high-risk site. The commitment to include it in the programme of works, was a step in the right direction. However, the recent pollution incident underscores the need for a more immediate response.

“The council’s call for Dŵr Cymru to expedite the replacement of the rising main is a testament to the urgency of the situation. The potential for future bursts poses a significant threat not only to the environment but also to the economic vitality of Tenby, a jewel in Wales’ tourism crown. The council’s proactive stance and its appeal for decisive action reflect a broader understanding that environmental issues require prompt and effective management.

“The relationship fostered over the years, mainly because of the hard work of Cllr Duncan Whitehurst, between the council and Dŵr Cymru has been pivotal in ongoing efforts to safeguard and enhance water quality. This partnership is now being leaned upon to navigate this issue efficiently. The council’s request is clear: immediate commencement of the replacement works, with a definitive completion date, is imperative.

“Tenby’s case serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of our ecosystems, economies, and communities. It highlights the importance of maintaining robust infrastructure, the need for vigilance in environmental monitoring, and the power of collaborative relationships resolution. As the situation unfolds, the actions taken today will resonate far into the future, shaping the legacy of Tenby’s environmental stewardship and its commitment to the well-being of its residents and visitors alike.”

Pictured above with North beach newly awarded blue flag are, Cllr Duncan Whitehurst, Mayor Cllr Dai Morgan and,.Town and County Cllr Sam Skryme Blackhall.

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Neyland Carnival 2024: A resounding success



THIS year’s carnival dazzled spectators and participants alike today, marking one of the most memorable events in recent years. Thousands flocked to the streets to witness an extraordinary procession of floats and walkers, showcasing the community’s creativity and unity.

Pembrokeshire County Councillor Simon Hancock was present to award the prizes, expressing his admiration for the event. “What a privilege to present the prizes at Neyland Carnival 2024,” Hancock said. “The ingenuity and creativity on show in the floats and walkers were truly extraordinary. Thousands saw the procession which must have been the biggest seen in Pembrokeshire these days. My congratulations to the hardworking committee which made everything possible. Well done! A wonderful day all round.”

The celebration extended to local venues, including The Legionnaire Neyland, a popular pub that joined in the festivities with enthusiasm. In a heartfelt message on social media, the pub’s team shared their gratitude and joy: “What an awesome carnival! I’d like to thank the staff and customers, and extend huge congratulations to Rebecca Charlton for making the Best Pub win happen. A huge thank you to Roy and Jane for providing awesome food at a reasonable rate. Thank you to Pembrokeshire Metal Recycling for the use of their lorry and Mike Otterbein for driving the route for us once again. Also, congratulations to the committee for their success—they nailed it. I hope the local businesses who sponsored the carnival benefited as much as we did today, as the after-party is going strong. Thanks to Upton Farm for donating 100 bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated at no charge. The Neyland community stands strong!”

The event highlighted the community spirit, with local businesses playing a crucial role in supporting the carnival. Their contributions, from providing essential resources to sponsoring various aspects of the event, ensured its success and demonstrated the strong bond within Neyland.

As the sun set on this vibrant day, the after-party continued, cementing Neyland Carnival 2024 as a cherished memory for all who participated and attended. The celebration underscored the strength and unity of the Neyland community, promising even greater events in the future.

Thank you everyone who sent their photos in from the event!

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