Wales’s health minister heard swearing at colleague during virtual sitting

Wales's health minister has been heard swearing about a colleague during a virtual sitting after he accidentally left his microphone on.

Vaughan Gething had come to the end of answering questions during a plenary session, being held by Zoom, when he made the remarks.

He referred to Jenny Rathbone, Assembly Member for Cardiff Central, and said to an unknown person: "What the f*** is the matter with her?"

Elin Jones, presiding officer of the National Assembly for Wales, quickly told Mr Gething to turn his microphone off.

Assembly members could be seen laughing and putting their hands over their mouths after the comments were heard.

After the session, a spokesman for the Welsh Government said: "The minister has contacted the member concerned to apologise."

Mr Gething posted 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."

The leaders of Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives called for 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."

Paul Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, 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."