Welsh leadership hopeful Vaughan Gething has been spotted fleeing protesting farmers who turned out in their dozens in Newtown at the weekend.

Mr Gething, who is intending to succeed Mark Drakeford as First Minister, was in Newtown this weekend to debate the other candidate for the leadership, Jermey Miles at an event for Labour party members.

However a large protest formed in the town with nearly 100 tractors carrying the slogan “no farming, no food, no future” – with calls to rethink the Welsh Government’s proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme.

READ MORE: Nearly 100 tractors greet Labour leadership hopefuls to protest farming policy

Critics of the scheme have said that it’s plan to devote one fifth of every farm to tree planting and wildlife projects would decimate the farming industry in Wales - which has been through a number of economic shocks in recent years including the fallout of Brexit and the high rate of inflation over the last two years.

The video shows one woman calling to Mr Gething “why can’t we talk face to face?”

Other shout: “Why are you trying to ruin future generations?”

A police officer then intervenes and shouts “stay back” and physically tries to keep the protestors away. When asked why said he tells the protestors they are "breaching the peace”.

Mr Gething said he had been asked to leave after advice from the police and, contrary to initial reports, had spoken with farmers about their concerns.

A spokesperson for Vaughan Gething’s campaign said: “Following the hustings in Newtown on Sunday, February 18, both candidates held a cordial, constructive and productive meeting with a delegation of the protesting farmers where they emphasised the consultation into the Sustainable Farming Scheme is ongoing.

"After the meeting - acting on police advice and as can clearly be seen from a video published on social media - Vaughan and his fellow Welsh Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Miles together left the area accompanied by officers from Dyfed Powys Police.

“Vaughan’s campaign team has since received an email from the representatives of the group thanking him for meeting them.

Vaughan has also recently met with representatives from NFU Cymru to discuss the Sustainable Farming Scheme."

Powys farmer, Ioan Humphreys, who helped plan the protest, thanked both candidates for taking time to speak to organisers and said it was a "step in the right direction".


The scheme in currently going through its final round of public engagement which is set to end at the beginning of next month.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Working in partnership with the farming sector is key.

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“That is why the Sustainable Farming Scheme has been jointly developed with farmers.

"The scheme is currently out for consultation and we would like to thank the thousands of farmers who have already responded and attended the 10 Welsh Government Roadshow sessions across Wales.

“No final decision will be taken on the scheme until after the consultation has ended and we encourage everyone to reply with their views by March 7.”