world : Gareth Lewis: Rough ride for Gething on rocky road

world : Gareth Lewis: Rough ride for Gething on rocky road
world : Gareth Lewis: Rough ride for Gething on rocky road

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:53 PM

Nafeza 2 world - UK Conservative plans to override Wales’s 20mph law were an “enormous assault on devolution… an absolute disgrace”, to a chorus of ‘hear hears’.

But we soon drove down a familiar road, and in part it was the FM himself who took that turn.

He expressed his “regret” at how events of the past few months have been “covered and reported”.

It drew an incredulous response from Plaid Cymru’s leader Rhun ap Iorwerth, himself a former journalist.

“Are you blaming journalists? Are you blaming opposition members?” he asked.

Even before that, it was clear – at least in FMQs - that the new start was turning into an old beginning.

The Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies accused the FM of the “lowest of the low” for bringing up his own illness absence in the fallout from last week’s vote of no confidence. At one point he said he had been advised to put his affairs in order.

Mr Davies had been "paired" while he was off for several months in 2021, which meant a Labour member did not take part in votes to compensate for his absence.

The Conservatives refused to pair for two ill Labour MSs in last week’s confidence vote, citing proxy and hybrid alternatives.

Last Thursday, Labour MS Jenny Rathbone told BBC Radio Wales that she did not know if the FM could carry on.

But BBC Wales was told that the following morning a Labour group meeting did not discuss the vote.

Nobody within Welsh Labour is making a move.

That would be a big decision in normal circumstances. Bigger still during a general election campaign.

There are also suggestions that there were calls for unity at Tuesday’s regular Labour group meeting.

UK Labour ministers are doing just that, making regular joint appearances that they back up with words on the campaign trail.

Opposition parties in the Senedd won’t call a vote of no confidence in the entire government because they need Labour MSs to rebel and do not think they will.

In short it means Mr Gething continues as FM.

He is not backing down; he is trying to find a new route to decisively move on.

But it is hard to see where that is on the road ahead.

Or what further roadblocks might still be lurking around the corner.

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