News website denies sacked Welsh minister was behind leak

Politics

A news website in Wales has claimed the minister sacked over allegedly a leaking text from the first minister was not the source for their story.

Nation Cymru posted an article in May claiming that in 2020 then-health secretary Vaughan Gething had told a ministerial chat he would delete all their messages so they could not be “captured in an FOI [Freedom of Information request]”.

Speaking at the COVID inquiry, the now-first minister insisted the text was related to “a Labour group meeting in August 2020”, and was “about the way in which we described what we are doing”, rather than pandemic decision-making.

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Days later, former social partnership minister Hannah Blythyn was kicked out of her role amid claims she had been behind the leak, with Mr Gething saying he had “no alternative”.

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However, the website behind the article has now posted a fresh story with the headline: “Hannah Blythyn was not our source”.

It follows Ms Blythyn making a personal statement in the Senedd on Tuesday, saying she was shown no evidence to back up her sacking and had raised “formal concerns”.

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Telling members the incident had led to “acute anxiety and stress” for her, she added: “I know that I can look all my colleagues who sit on these benches in the eye and say that I have never leaked or briefed the media about any of you. In fact, I can say that to everyone in the [chamber].”

But on Wednesday, Mr Gething responded in the Welsh parliament to stick to his guns, saying it was “clear” the ex-minister was behind the leak.

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In the latest article, Nation Cymru’s chief executive Mark Mansfield said: “We remain totally committed to protecting our sources.

“However, in this unprecedented situation, the board of Nation Cymru does not consider we can stand by and see Ms Blythyn’s reputation unjustly besmirched by the first minister.”

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

Sky News has contacted Welsh Labour for a response.

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