Home Featured Vaughan Gething — meet Europe’s first Black head of government – POLITICO
Vaughan Gething — meet Europe’s first Black head of government – POLITICO

Vaughan Gething — meet Europe’s first Black head of government – POLITICO

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Gething also inherits rows over the lowering of many road speed limits from 30 to 20 mph, the performance of the NHS, and protests against subsidy reforms that will require farmers to hand back some land to nature. Planned reforms would also raise the number of members of the Welsh parliament, the Senedd, from 60 to 90. 

In one of his first interviews on taking office, Gething told the BBC Sunday show: “It’s likely there will be changes to some routes.”

But he has a more urgent task — holding Welsh Labour together. Gething won only 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent for his opponent Jeremy Miles.

And he has already angered critics by accepting donations worth £200,000 from a firm run by a man convicted of environmental offenses. Miles’ supporters also claimed that he was the victim of a “stitch-up” for the way Wales’ largest union, Unite, declared support for Gething. (Gething and Unite insist rules were followed.)

The dreaded Brexit ratio

“This result is very, very difficult for the Labour Party,” said Richard Wyn Jones, professor of Welsh Politics at Cardiff University. “This was a very unhappy contest … and there is a very widespread feeling amongst Mr. Gething’s opponents that he has basically bought his way to the leadership.”

There is “a really big issue around losers’ consent,” added Wyn Jones. This will be tested when Gething names his cabinet later this week, as he tries to balance party unity with rewarding loyal backers.

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