First Minister defends Vaughan Gething over chip row

The First Minister has defended Vaughan Gething after a photograph was published of him eating food with his family on a park bench at the weekend.

The image, appeared in The Sun newspaper, and criticised Mr Gething for sitting down in the sunshine while government guidance stated people should be staying indoors.

Mr Gething released a statement on social media saying he was out for his daily exercise, and said the tabloid story was "really disappointing".

"Our 5 year old was hungry and we bought some chips - all within the rules", he said.

Guidance had stated sitting for a "prolonged period" on a park bench was not allowed, but this was updated on Monday to state people are allowed to stop and have something to eat while on a walk - but picnics are still not permitted.

The matter was raised by opposition politicians during the Senedd's plenary session.

Vaughan Gething (bottom left) could be seen shaking his head following the criticism

Welsh Conservative Darren Millar suggested to the First Minister that government guidance was changed as a result of the health minister's actions.

"You changed the guidance on Monday, and many people will think that that might be because of the fact that the health Minister was photographed sitting on the park bench having a picnic with his family over the weekend.Now, it looks to the public that it's one rule for the health Minister and another rule for them. So, don't you agree with me that Vaughan Gething has had his chips? And when are you going to remove him from the park bench and put him on the subs bench, where he belongs?"

The health minister could be seen shaking his head following Darren Millar's comments.

Mr Drakeford responded saying he was "not going to be drawn into that sort of distasteful personal attack on anybody."

He said the change in guidance had "nothing to do" with the incident.

"A brief stop to allow a child to eat is not a picnic in anybody's language, and just for his information, before he tries to spread the sort of slur that he tried in his question, the decisions that the Welsh Government made on the measures that we were going to change were made on Thursday of last week.

"They were made in a Cabinet meeting that was properly and officially minuted; it had nothing to do with any incident that he is referring to and he should stop trying to imply that it did."