Posted: Sat 25th Apr 2020

First Minister says matter is closed after Health Minister apologises for sweary outburst

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 25th, 2020


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The First Minister has said it is the ‘end of the matter’, after the Health Minister apologised to his colleague following a four letter outburst streamed publically.

The Health Minister was heard criticising Labour colleague Jenny Rathbone AM during a virtual Senedd plenary meeting after accidentally leaving his microphone unmuted.

It followed Ms Rathbone asking him about comments made by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who accused the Welsh and UK governments of a “dereliction of duty” for failing to make better use of assistance to address testing and equipment shortages.

Sir Martin Evans said every resource should be used against coronavirus, but claimed an offer of help from Cardiff University had gone unanswered.

Ms Rathbone said the government should not “shoot the messenger” after Mr Gething admitted there were only “days worth” of personal protective equipment available in Wales earlier this week.

She expressed her belief that the country should be “self sufficient” in creating PPE and also challenged him on when home testing would be rolled out.

In the public stream of the meeting, Mr Gething appears to say: “What the f*** is she doing?” in reference to his colleague and her questioning of him.

Subsequently questions have been raised about confidence in the Health Minister from opposition parties.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford about the comments, enquiring if it was the reaction he would expect from a cabinet member, after what was a reasonable question from a colleague on such a serious topic.

Mr Drakeford replied to us: “It is very important that Assembly Members are able to ask those questions and that they get the proper answers to them.

“The Health Minister apologised immediately to the individual involved, and that apology was accepted. That is the end of the matter.”

Previously the Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he had contacted Ms Rathbone to apologise following his outburst, posting on Twitter: “I’m obviously embarrassed about my comments at the end of questions today.

“I’ve sent a message apologising and offered to speak to Jenny Rathbone if she wishes to do so. It is an unwelcome distraction at a time of unprecedented challenge.”

You can view the full briefing today by the First Minister and the Q&A session on the below video:

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