Posted: Thu 16th May 2024

First Minister fires Blythyn over leaks – “I did not, nor have I ever leaked anything” she replies for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 16th, 2024

Delyn MS Hannah Blythyn, the Minister for Social Partnership, has been sacked from her role in the Welsh Government.

First Minister Vaughan Gething announced her removal from his Cabinet, accusing her of effecively leaking information to the media.

Blythyn has replied this lunchtime on Twitter, “I am deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened today. 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.”

“I am deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened today. 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.”

In a statement this morning to some media (not, nor to the people of Wales formally) 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.”

“I’d like to record my gratitude for the work the Member has done to date, including her leadership through the fire and rescue services review, outstanding work leading the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales and invaluable work on the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act.”

He emphasised the importance of maintaining confidence among government colleagues, adding, “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. The government has offered ongoing support to the member.”

It has not been confirmed if the leaks in question are messages that emerged via this report on Nation Cymru.

The response from the opposition was swift. Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, criticised Mr Gething’s handling of the situation.

“Vaughan Gething’s decisions during the Labour leadership campaign are catching up with him.”

“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, for leaking to the media about him.”

Davies further called for transparency from Ms Blythyn, saying, “Now Blythyn needs to be clear about where she obtained the messages she leaked from and, if she still has them, why she hasn’t handed them to the COVID inquiry.”

Hannah Blythyn was appointed as Minister for Social Partnership in March 2024, shortly after Vaughan Gething became First Minister and formed his new cabinet.

Her responsibilities included implementing the Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act, overseeing the Social Partnership Council, promoting the Living Wage, and supporting sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and retail.

Ms Blythyn’s ministerial journey began in November 2017 when she joined the Welsh Government focusing on environmental issues.

A trade unionist, she previously led political and policy work for Unite in Wales, advocating for causes such as blacklisting, justice for victims of asbestos-related diseases, protection for rural workers, and tackling bogus self-employment.

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