Wales’ Health Minister has just lived everyone’s worst working-from-home nightmare. We would never encourage you to slag off your colleagues behind their backs – it’s not a good look.
But if you must vent about a co-worker during a Zoom meeting, you’d best make sure your microphone is on mute. Vaughan Gething says he was ‘obviously embarrassed’ after being overheard bad-mouthing Welsh Assembly member for Cardiff Central Jenny Rathbone.
Addressing an unknown person while over 20 colleagues watch in horror, he says: ‘What the f*ck is the matter with her?’
Members can be heard saying ‘no’ and try to drown him out as he launches the tirade, but they were too late. Some laughed, others covered their mouths in shock and Presiding officer Elin Jones swiftly told Mr Gething to turn his microphone off.
Ms Rathbone, who was asking questions about the Welsh Government’s response to coronavirus, got up from her seat and walked away from the camera. After the session the Health Minister said 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.’
Since the blunder leaders of opposition parties Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives called for Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford to sack Mr Gething immediately. Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: ‘He does not have the right attitude, skills or temperament to lead the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘To maintain public confidence, the First Minister needs to relieve him of these responsibilities with immediate effect.’ Welsh Conservatives leader Paul Davies tweeted: ‘Politicians are entitled to ask serious and challenging questions of ministers and it’s essential that they are able to do so during this pandemic.
‘For a Health Minister to show such unprofessionalism and disdain at this time is completely unacceptable and he should be sacked.’
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: ‘The minister has contacted the member concerned to apologise.’
Earlier, Mr Gething had faced criticism from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was standing in for Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Foreign Secretary said Mr Gething had ‘abandoned’ the Welsh Government’s target of conducting 5,000 coronavirus tests per day.
News sourced from: Metro