(Title Image: via Senedd TV; not a picture from the plenary session in question)
Having come under growing pressure over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, stock in the Health Minister, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth), took a further fall after he was accidentally recorded making unflattering remarks about his Labour colleague Jenny Rathbone AM (Lab, Cardiff Central) during yesterday’s virtual Senedd plenary session.
Jenny Rathbone had asked about criticism from Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Martin Evans about the Welsh and UK government’s approach to virus testing as well as the availability of PPE.
The quality of the recording is poor, but you can make out: “I tell you what, I know Jenny (Rathbone) is regularly….(inaudible)….right at the end, but what the f**k is the matter with her?”
The Minister has since apologised on social media and offered to meet Jenny Rathbone.
Vaughan Gething survived a no-confidence vote in May 2019 over the Cwm Taf maternity scandal, and while calls for his resignation from Plaid Cymru were somewhat predictable and will be rebuffed, there was some support from within the Conservatives and by the Lib Dems for the Minister to remain in post during a national health emergency.
Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price AM (Plaid, Carms. E & Dinefwr) said: “He has not only failed over the last month several times, he has failed to acknowledge that he has failed and aggressively attacks even those within his own party who question him. He does not have the right attitude, skills or temperament to lead the Government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.”