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Wales appeared to be embroiled in the world’s first political scandal involving Zoom after the country’s health minister was caught swearing at a colleague when forgetting to mute his microphone.
The Senedd, the country’s national assembly, has been holding its sessions via the video conferencing system as a result of coronavirus social distancing measures.
On Wednesday, health minister Vaughan Gething was being asked questions about the Welsh government’s response to the outbreak by Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone.
After he finished his contribution, Gething was heard off-camera talking about Rathbone, his Welsh Labour Party colleague.
He asked an unidentified person: “What the fuck is the matter with her?”
The presiding officer, Elin Jones, could then be heard saying: “I think Vaughan Gething needs to turn his microphone off. Vaughan Gething needs to turn his microphone off.”
A number of assembly members could be seen laughing.
And the reactions, oh the reaction… pic.twitter.com/Tnzem4AJSI
— Alain Tolhurst (@Alain_Tolhurst) April 22, 2020
The Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru called on Gething to resign and the Welsh Conservatives said he should be sacked.
The Welsh government has faced criticism for dropping their 5,000 daily testing target earlier this week.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “He has not only failed over the last month several times, he has failed to acknowledge that he has failed and aggressively attacks even those within his own party who question him.
“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.”
Gething has since apologised to Rathbone for his remark.
He said: “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.”