The Labour battle bus visited the election seat of Monmouthshire, where candidate Catherine Fookes is hoping to oust the current Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies in one of Labour’s key target seats.

The bus arrived at Keepers Pond, near Abergavenny on the first stop of four battleground seats in South and West Wales on a breezy Sunday morning, June 30 with First Minister Vaughan Gething and Shadow Digital Minister Chris Bryant greeted by local activists and their candidate Catherine Fookes.

Mrs Fookes welcomed the crowd saying: “We are all hearing the same message on the doorstep, everyone wants change.

“Even the staunchest Tory I have met has said things cannot go on as they are

“Things will be close here, it’s definitely not a done deal, we need to reach out across the party divide, and Keir Starmer said that he is going to be a leader and put country before party.”

Following on from that, First Minister Vaughan Gething thanked everyone for “making the time to come here today saying he was looking forward to joining Catherine “and other candidates on the doorstep later today.”

Speaking later to the Beacon senior reporter Desmond Pugh, Vaughan Gething was pressed on the VAT levy of 20 per cent on private school fees that Labour have pledged to introduce seeing that Monmouth has currently four private schools within its area.

“Let's say 10 percent of those parents say enough is enough and put their children in the state schools. The problem is that those state schools are near to capacity now and so will they go back to teaching in portable cabins to try to accommodate the extra people that will inevitably come from the private sector?”

In response, the First Minister said :”There's two things: the first is I don't think we're going to see a massive influx of people coming into our normal schools that over 90 per cent of the population go to, people make choices before a school year starts and they need to be elected to make their choice, like all of us do.

“Secondly, is it really right that every taxpayer, you me and every other reader of the Monmouthshire Beacon is putting money into subsidising private education?

“That’s the central choice here: are we better off putting our money in subsidising private education or are we better off putting that money into improving the education the schools that over 90 percent of children go to?”

He was also asked about a local health issue where a doctors’ practice in Monmouth was forced to withdraw five medical routines affecting 50 patients following funding cuts from the Senedd.

Mr Gething replied: “It's not just a conversation with the local surgery about why there's been a change but an explanation, and actually it should be an agreement with the health board around why there is any change in the process”.

He admitted he was not aware of the detail of the local issue but said “there's challenges of how you have enough people to give the right care in the right place and actually to make sure it's safe for the right quality as well 

“So we've moved more of our care into local health services whether it’s GP’s and their team or pharmacies so I'd be very interested in how that process works and how we have the ability to fund that and other people to do it” adding he would get local candidate Catherine Fookes to look into this.

The practice has since continued the medical routines until next year.