Welsh First Minister Vaughan Gething has been accused of having “lack of integrity” after it emerged he wrongly blamed one of hi ministers for leaking stories to the press.

Nation.Cymru, the news website which revealed the first minister had admitted to deleting messages from a group chat ministers in August 2020, today said that Hannah Blythn was not the source for its story.


On Wednesday, Gething told the Senedd that evidence showed the message had come from his minsiter’s phone.

But chief executive of Nation.Cymru, Mark Mansfield, said that at “no stage before or since publication of it have we had any contact with her” about the matter.

Hannah Blythyn/Vaughan Gething

On Wednesday, Gething told the Senedd that evidence showed the message had come from her phone

PA

In a statement, he added: “We can state unequivocally that Mr Gething is not telling the truth when he suggests that he has incontrovertible evidence that Ms Blythyn was our source.”

Mansfield continued: “Mr Gething’s admission that he was deleting messages conflicts with what he in due course told the Inquiry, which was that messages had been deleted from his mobile phone not by him but when it was being ‘refitted’ by the Senedd’s IT department.

“Hannah Blythyn has behaved with integrity. Vaughan Gething has not.”

The Welsh Conservatives said the latest developments show it is “almost impossible to believe the first minister’s version of events”.

In May, Gething said he had “no alternative” but to ask Hannah Blythyn, MS for Delyn, to leave his government.

Blythyn insisted she was “clear and have been clear that I did not, nor have I ever leaked anything” and was “deeply shocked” at her dismissal.

Gething previously told the UK Covid-19 Inquiry that lost WhatsApp messages were not deleted by him, but by the Welsh Parliament’s IT team during a security rebuild.

He told plenary in May that the leaked message was from a section of an iMessage group chat with other Labour ministers and related to internal discussions within the Senedd Labour group.

Gething denied the message contradicted the evidence he had given to the inquiry, adding that the message did not relate to pandemic decision making but “comments that colleagues make to and about each other”.

Gething’s office has been contacted for comment.