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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Heads in the sand

Considering that there is a general election in five weeks time, Welsh Labour are doing a pretty good job at alienating voters with an astonishing display of arrogance over the scandals surrounding the First Minister.

Nation Cymru reports that key figures in Welsh Labour have been criticised for claiming voters don’t care about donations to Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign despite a new poll showing that the public overwhelmingly agree he should return the money.

The website says that in the poll conducted on 18-19 May by Redfield and Wilton Strategies in partnership with WalesOnline, 70 per cent of the weighted sample of 900 people from Wales agreed or strongly agreed that the money should be handed back – a call the First Minister has so far rejected.

They add that only 9 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that the money should be returned:

Following the announcement of a General Election last week, Mr Gething kicked off Welsh Labour’s campaign in Llandudno.

Speaking with BBC Wales whilst out canvassing, he said the subject of his donation isn’t something Welsh voters want to ask about.

On Politics Wales on Sunday (May 27), Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Jo Stevens said she spent two days “out on the doors” with Mr Gething and that the £200,000 donation was “not an issue”.

She said: “We spoke to 400 people in Barry and one person raised the issue of donations. Whilst the media might be churning this story over every single day to give it greater legs – this is not an issue.”

The Labour MP for Cardiff Central added that what matters in this election is “change and economic stability”.

We asked Ms Stevens if she agrees that the polling results show that the donation scandal is a concern for Welsh voters.

We also asked whether she accepts that people in Wales can be concerned about the economy and also have an opinion on the First Minister taking money from a convicted polluter.

Nether she, nor Welsh Labour, responded to our requests for comment.

Redfield and Wilton also polled Welsh voters on Mr Gething’s decision to sack the Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn.

She was accused of being the source of a leak to NationCymru that revealed Mr Gething had deleted messages that should have been provided to the UK Covid Inquiry.

The Delyn MS denied the allegation saying, “I’ve never leaked anything”.

16 per cent of those polled support Mr Gething’s decision to sack the junior minister, whilst 34 per cent disapprove of his decision to do so.

60 per cent of Welsh voters would support the former health minister being asked to return to provide further testimony to the UK Covid Inquiry.

The MP for Rhondda took a similar line on Radio Wales the other day, claiming that voters are not raising the issue of the money on the doorstep.

The big question here is who are these Labour figures talking to, because the donation is a major subject in conversations I am having, and of course it has contributed to a significant fall-off in Gething's approval ratings.

Along with the 20mph default speed limit and the creation of 36 more Senedd Members these issues could well come back to bite Labour in future years.
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