Vaughan Gething
Gething in 2016
Minister for the Economy
Assumed office
13 May 2021
First MinisterMark Drakeford
Preceded byKen Skates
Minister for Health and Social Services
In office
19 May 2016 – 13 May 2021
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Mark Drakeford
Preceded byMark Drakeford
Succeeded byThe Baroness Morgan of Ely
Deputy Minister for Health
In office
11 September 2014 – 19 May 2016[1]
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
MinisterMark Drakeford
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byRebecca Evans
Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty
In office
26 June 2013[2] – 11 September 2014
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
MinisterJeffrey Cuthbert
Member of the Senedd
for Cardiff South and Penarth
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Preceded byLorraine Barrett
Majority10,606 (29.2%)
Personal details
Born (1974-03-15) 15 March 1974 (age 47)
Lusaka, Zambia[3]
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materUniversity of Wales
OccupationSolicitor, trade unionist
WebsiteOfficial Website
A video of Gething representing the First Minister in a COVID-19 press conference in January 2021
A video of Gething representing the First Minister in a COVID-19 press conference in January 2021

Vaughan Gething (born 15 March 1974) is a Welsh Labour and Co-operative politician serving as Minister for the Economy since 2021. He previously served as the Minister for Health and Social Services from 2016 to 2021. He has been the Member of the Senedd (MS) for Cardiff South and Penarth since 2011.[4]

Early life

Gething was born in Zambia in 1974, where his father, a White Welsh vet from Ogmore-by-Sea in South Glamorgan, met his mother who is a Black Zambian.[5] Gething describes his father as "a white Welsh economic migrant".[5] When he was two years old, he moved to Monmouthshire, Wales, with his family and has three brothers and a sister.[6][5] His father eventually found work in Dorset, England, where Gething was brought up.[6]

He studied at Beaminster Comprehensive and Sixth Form in Dorset, followed by Aberystwyth University where he read Law and graduated in 1999,[7] and then going onto the University of Cardiff Law School, University of Wales.[5][8] Gething became President of Aberystwyth University Guild of Students and the first Black president of the National Union of Students Wales.[5][9][10]

Professional career

Having completed his training as a solicitor in Cardiff in 2001, with the trade union solicitors Thompsons, Gething chose to specialise in employment law. He became a partner in Thompsons in 2007.[8]

In 2008, at the age of 34, Gething became the youngest President of Wales TUC, also becoming the first mixed race person in the role.[11][12]

Political career

Gething joined the Labour Party when he was 17, to campaign in the 1992 UK general election.[5] He was a councillor from 2004 to 2008, representing Butetown electoral ward on Cardiff Council, having been elected with a majority of two votes.[8][13] Gething was selected as the Welsh Labour candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency in the Senedd. Lorraine Barrett, who had represented Cardiff South and Penarth since the Senedd's creation in 1999, had announced her intention to stand down at the 2011 election. At the Senedd election on 5 May 2011, Gething increased the Labour vote with a swing of 12.5%. At 13,814, his share of the vote was over 50%, giving him a majority of 6,259 over the Welsh Conservative Party candidate, Ben Gray, placed second.[4][14] At the following 2016 Welsh Assembly election, Gething once again increased his majority in terms of vote share.

Following the 2016 election, First Minister Carwyn Jones promoted Gething to the Welsh Cabinet as Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport.[15]

Gething did not support Jeremy Corbyn in either the 2015 or 2016 Labour Party leadership election (against challenger Owen Smith) but stated in a 2017 BBC Radio Wales interview that he would still like to see Corbyn as Prime Minister. "I want a Labour prime minister - and that means Jeremy Corbyn being prime minister." ... "I don't think it matters whether I'm a fan or not - it matters whether I think he can do the job in running the country" Gething said.[16][17]

Gething, alongside Baroness Eluned Morgan and Mark Drakeford, was one of the three contenders in the 2018 election for the leadership of Welsh Labour, but was defeated by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.

Drakeford subsequently reappointed Gething as Health Minister, with the position renamed as Minister for Health and Social Services. On 13 May 2021, Gething was promoted to Minister for the Economy, replacing Ken Skates.

Zoom incident

On 22 April 2020, Gething was caught swearing about fellow Labour MS Jenny Rathbone in a virtual session of the Senedd.[18] Gething failed to mute his microphone as he told an unknown person "What the fuck is the matter with her?" during the Zoom meeting. Rathbone had been asking the Minister questions about the Welsh Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the incident, both the Welsh Conservative leader, Paul Davies and Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price called on Mark Drakeford to dismiss Gething as Minister for Health.[19][non-primary source needed][20][non-primary source needed] BBC Wales reported that Labour MSs were also "very angry" over Gething's actions.[18]

Personal life

Gething and his wife Michelle live in Penarth, where he has lived since 2011.[13] He is a member of the trade unions GMB, UNISON and Unite.[11][21]


  1. ^ "Lib Dem Williams named in new cabinet". BBC. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Lewis named as education minister". BBC. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  3. ^ Davies, Daniel (9 November 2018). "Welsh Labour's mystery runners?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Wales elections > Cardiff South and Penarth". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Owen, Paul (3 August 2009). "Black Welshman aims to take the fight to the BNP". The Guardian. Manchester: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Vaughan Gething wants to be Welsh Labour's Sadiq Khan". British GQ. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Alumni at the Senedd". Aberystwyth University. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Vaughan Gething Assembly selection 2011" (PDF). Welsh Labour. 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  9. ^ "About Vaughan – Vaughan Gething MS | Cardiff South & Penarth". Vaughan Gething MS | Cardiff South & Penarth. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  10. ^ Crecsi, Elena (15 March 2013). "From student unions to the Senedd and Westminster, how do today's youth become tomorrow's AMs and MPs?". Wales Online. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Morgan urges Labour to hold firm". BBC News. BBC. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  12. ^ Gething, Vaughan (28 October 2018). "Vaughan Gething: In Black History Month, I'm proud to be supported by BAME Labour". LabourList. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Vaughan Gething-about". Vaughan Gething. 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  14. ^ Blake, Aled (6 May 2011). "Assembly election: Meet the incoming AMs". WalesOnline website. Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Welsh Government | Vaughan Gething AM". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  16. ^ "General election: 'Doesn't matter if I'm a Corbyn fan'". BBC News. 19 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Owen Smith to challenge Corbyn for Labour leadership". The Guardian. 13 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Coronavirus: Welsh health minister caught swearing about Labour AM". BBC. 22 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Plaid Cymru Statement". 22 April 2020 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Paul, Davies (22 April 2020). "Paul Davies (Leader of the Welsh Conservatives) Statement" – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Vaughan Gething AM: Minister for Health and Social Services". GOV.WALES. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
Senedd Preceded byLorraine Barrett Member of the Senedd for Cardiff South and Penarth 2011–present Incumbent Political offices Preceded byGwenda Thomas Deputy Minister for Health 2014–2016 Succeeded byRebecca Evans Preceded byMark Drakeford Minister for Health and Social Services 2016–2021 Preceded byThe Baroness Morgan of Ely Trade union offices Preceded byRuth Jones President of the Wales TUC 2008–2009 Succeeded byPaul O'Shea