Vaughan Gething sacks minister over alleged phone leaks

Vaughan Gething has sacked a member of his new cabinet over allegations she leaked mobile phone messages to the press, claims which she denies.

Wales’ first minister announced that Hannah Blythyn, the minister for social partnership, will leave her Welsh Government post immediately.

In a statement, Mr Gething said: “Having reviewed the evidence available to me regarding the recent disclosure of communication to the media, I have regrettably reached the conclusion I have no alternative but to ask Hannah Blythyn to leave the government.”

He said: “It is of vital importance we are able to maintain confidence amongst government colleagues so that we work as one to focus on improving the lives of the people in Wales.


“Given Hannah’s talents and experience, I have been clear there is a route back for her to take up a government position again in future.”


Mr Gething thanked the Labour MS for Delyn for her leadership on the fire and rescue service, Wales’ LGBTQ+ action plan and the 2023 Social Partnership Act.

Ms Blythyn, who supported Jeremy Miles in the leadership campaign, said she was deeply shocked and saddened by the day’s events.

She wrote on X, formerly twitter: “I am clear and have been clear that I did not, nor have I ever leaked anything. Integrity is all in politics and I retain mine.

“For a kid from Connah’s Quay it is an immense privilege to serve the community that shaped me, let alone to have served in my country’s government.

“I will say no more at present.”


‘Breaking point’

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Conservative group in the Senedd, argued the first minister’s decisions during the Labour leadership campaign are catching up with him.


He said: “Just weeks into his time as first minister, Vaughan Gething has had to sack somebody from his cabinet, which is almost unprecedented in recent memory in Wales.


“He needs to prove quickly that he is capable of governing Wales because as it stands his government is being stretched to breaking point by internal divisions.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru’s leader, said: “Vaughan Gething has undermined the office of first minister and lost the trust of his party and the nation.”

Mr Iorwerth described Mr Gething’s short tenure as being marred by controversy and a lack of transparency, and said there are serious questions about his judgement.

He accused the first minister of putting self-preservation before the public interest, saying: “If anyone should be considering their position, it is the first minister himself.”


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