Senior Labour figures have thrown their support behind the embattled First Minister of Wales, branding a no-confidence vote against him a “stunt”.

Vaughan Gething suffered a major blow to his position in the Senedd last Wednesday when he lost a no-confidence motion in his leadership 29-27.

Following the vote, opposition parties called on the First Minister to step down, but he vowed to stay in place.

Now senior Labour members have insisted Mr Gething has their full support.

Jo Stevens, the shadow Welsh secretary, branded the motion – put forward by the Conservatives – a “stunt” while, Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow secretary of state for business, insisted it was a “gimmick”.

The senior Labour figures were speaking during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot with the First Minister on Monday.

Ms Stevens said: “Vaughan has broken no rules.

“The Tory leader in Wales has said on the floor of the Senedd that Vaughan has broken no rules.

“We’re just focusing on getting on with the General Election campaign, aiming to get a UK Labour government working with a Welsh Labour government for the benefit of everybody across Wales.”

Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, added that he 100% supported Mr Gething.

“The whole of the UK Labour movement does,” he said.

“I know he is absolutely the right person (for the job).”

Asked if he would stand down if he had lost a no-confidence vote, Mr Reynolds did not answer, instead calling the vote a “gimmick”.

He said: “Who is delivering and focusing on the issues here in Wales? It’s Vaughan.

“When we compare the Labour campaign to our opponents, we are confident of the case we are making, we are confident of the case we have been making and the progress we’ve made so far.”

Mr Gething did not answer when asked if there would be no more hiccups, but said righting the ship involved him getting on with the job.

Mr Gething said: “I’m absolutely focused on the job.

“Look at what happened at the end of last week, we made an offer to the BMA (British Medical Association) to help resolve the strike action (by doctors in Wales), there’s more that we’re going to do in the next week and the week after that.”

Wednesday afternoon’s dramatic scenes in the Senedd followed the collapse of the co-operation deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru and a series of rows involving Mr Gething.

Mr Gething has previously called it a “very disappointing afternoon”, branding the motion a “transparent gimmick” that was impacted by two members of his party being unwell.

Without the absence of Hannah Blythyn, who Mr Gething recently sacked from his government, and Lee Waters, the no-confidence motion was unlikely to have passed.

The motion was non-binding and will not force Mr Gething to stand aside from his role as First Minister, but the result will be embarrassing for him.

Mr Gething was visibly emotional during the debate and could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.

Mr Gething, who has been the Welsh Labour leader since March, faced the no-confidence vote after being plagued by scandal during his short time in office.

Concerns were raised after Mr Gething accepted a donation from a man convicted of environmental offences during his run to be leader.

Mr Gething had also refused to show any evidence to explain why he sacked Senedd member Ms Blythyn from his government, after he accused her of leaking messages to the media.

The First Minister’s decision followed a report on the Nation.Cymru news website which featured a message posted to a ministerial group chat in August 2020 by Mr Gething, stating that he was “deleting the messages in this group”.

He said the leaked message was from a section of an iMessage group chat with other Labour ministers and related to internal discussions within the Senedd Labour group.

He told the UK Covid-19 Inquiry that lost WhatsApp messages were not deleted by him, but by the Welsh Parliament’s IT team during a security rebuild.

Mr Gething has always insisted that all rules were followed when he took the donation and denied the leaked message contradicted the evidence he had given to the inquiry, adding that it did not relate to pandemic decision-making but “comments that colleagues make to and about each other”.