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Incoming FM says there are ‘lessons to learn’ over controversial donation

16 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Vaughan Gething (left) talks to former first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The incoming first minister of Wales has said “everyone has lessons to learn” after being criticised for taking a £200,000 donation from a man whose company was convicted of environmental offences.

Vaughan Gething, who is due to become the leader of the Welsh government on Wednesday, defended his decision to take a sizeable donation from a man whose company has been convicted of environmental offences.

The decision to take the money was branded “unfortunate” by Carwyn Jones, a former first minister of Wales, who told the BBC that “lessons there need to be learned”.

Speaking to the PA news agency after his election victory, Mr Gething said: “Everyone has lessons to learn about the past and the future.

“And Carwyn would say the same about himself as well.

“I had a good conversation with him earlier, when you’re making choices in government, you’ve got to be prepared to make choices and to reflect on whether you think they’ve been the right thing to do.

“If you can’t learn then you’re not going to be the right person, not just to lead the government, but you can’t be the right person in politics, because that’s part of what life teaches you.”

Donations

Atlantic Recycling, which is part of Dauson Environmental Group and controlled by David Neal, gave Mr Gething £100,000 on December 18 2023 and £100,000 on January 11 2024.

The company was found guilty of environmental offences in January.

It was also fined £300,000 for one of its workers’ deaths in February after it pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety at work rules.

Asked if he would return the money, Mr Gething did not answer the question, instead stressing that he has always followed the rules for donations, and it has been properly reported to the Electoral Commission and the Senedd.

“None of my manifesto has changed or been reduced back,” he added.

“I’m very clear in my manifesto, that we want to see further penalties for firms that breach their environmental obligations, and regulations.

“That’s my commitment, that’s what people can expect me to deliver.”

He said that was part of Labour’s plan to help the environment, stressing the need for more “green” jobs to help lift people out of poverty.

Opportunity

Talking about his ambitions for the first day in office, Mr Gething said he needed to put together a government with people “from across our group”.

He added: “I look forward to making offers to people on each side of the contest we have had and then to have a united and capable Welsh Labour government, because we have faced some really significant challenges.”

Mr Gething also said this was a chance for opportunity, with a general election this year, which he said could “fundamentally change what we are able to do”, particularly if Labour gets in power in Westminster.

The incoming first minister believes there is a place for Jeremy Miles, his opponent in the leadership race, in his cabinet, and he said he looked forward to offering that.

Mr Gething also promised to “listen to the public” on many of the more controversial policies that have arisen in the Welsh government, including new 20mph speed limit policies and farming subsidies.

He said he understood why farming communities are anxious, with there being less money available since the UK left the EU.

“We’ve got to design a scheme together,” he said.

“And the consultation has just ended, so we need to look at what’s come from that and then to see what we can do together.”


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A.Redman
A.Redman
24 days ago

What position has Vaughan Gething held as an officer in ANY Labour backing trade union?Perhaps the rules need checking?

James
James
24 days ago
Reply to  A.Redman

He’s had brown envelopes throughout

PeterC
PeterC
24 days ago

Lessons to be learned – yep, how to hide things better

hdavies15
hdavies15
24 days ago
Reply to  PeterC

Lessons learned – the mantra of those who do nothing to rectify.

A Evans
A Evans
22 days ago
Reply to  PeterC

Yep! Just like Parliament. They were caught out abusing expenses, but are now advised how to “word them” correctly!

James
James
24 days ago

We are all doomed. Corruption, Corruption, Corruption. That is what the previous and future welsh government is about. Can nobody see this? Are we all blind to the obvious? Why are we the greatest welsh people, working class of the valleys, farmers of the hills, why are we allowing this to happen? We need to all rise up and fight against this corrupt government. Vote for anyone except for the Labour criminals who are damned to destroy our hopes, dreams and country!

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
24 days ago
Reply to  James

It is up to all our people to insure that Plaid Cymru becomes the next Welsh government.

Plaid Cymru is the only party that can unite our country and win in all regions of Wales.
We must make it happen.

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
24 days ago

HO HO HO

James
James
24 days ago

But they can’t though, Plaid want independence and the majority of Wales don’t want to be independent from our brother, sister, family and friends in England, Scotland and Northern Island. Why can’t you see that? This idea of independent is just trying to dig up the past in the 12th century. Get over it! We are united, we are friends, we are on one island!

Annibendod
Annibendod
24 days ago
Reply to  James

Plaid want to replace the dysfunctional UK with a new Confederal Union of British nation states. We also advocate returning to our union with our European family. We are trying to build a democratic and prosperous future for our nation. Now you might want to empty your head of the rubbish that’s been pumped into it and actually look at what we stand for instead of coming on here like a typical keyboard warrior spouting ignorant nonsense.

James
James
24 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

What I hear is, get rid of the crown (fair point). Become independent, then rejoin the EU and give our independence away again. Am I right? Spell it out to me if you think I’m stupid. 🤔 keyboard warrior? What are you talking about? Let’s meet face to face! Let’s have a debate and put it on YouTube!!

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
24 days ago

How can the people unite behind a party that backs the closed list voting system, sends a Bute energy lobbyist to the unelected house of lords and runs a council that is actively fighting its own taxpayers in wanting to flatten 27 acres of woodland to make way for a holiday park?

Meic
Meic
22 days ago

Plaid will never breakout from the Welsh speaking heartlands – sad but inevitable. Also politically in the same place as Labour.

A Evans
A Evans
22 days ago
Reply to  James

Frying pan & fire springs to mind! Plaid has backed all the dodgy deals that “Labour” has contrived!

Annibendod
Annibendod
24 days ago

Lessons? Good grief! The man is shameless. We absolutely have to put him and his administration under serious scrutiny.

David
David
24 days ago

Actions speak louder than words.

Andrew
Andrew
24 days ago

As usual Gethin refuses to accept any responsibility for his actions and failures.

This doesn’t bode well for Wales, incompetent, inept and arrogant a great mix for a FM

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
24 days ago

It is now even more important that the next Welsh government should be a Plaid Cymru government. This current labour government have screwed up. The so called Welsh labour party has consistently made excuses but will never call out the real problem: The UK government and its hold on Wales. Welsh labour has just voted for NO change; A situation that will leave us open to the whims of the UK state – that means the stagnation and poverty delivered on Wales from the UK state. Even if labour is elected to government at Westminster there is no guarantee for… Read more »

Mozart
Mozart
24 days ago

Plaid sold their soul when they agreed to get into bed with Welsh Labour at the last election. Wouldn’t trust any party in Wales to deliver the change that’s needed.

Why vote
Why vote
24 days ago

And the winner of the biggest prize For the, best back handers, the most creative storyteller, the rule bending, statistic manipulator,Bull S of all time IS …………..

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
24 days ago

Former First Minister Carwyn Jones giving newly elected Vaughan Gething some “sound” advice. Carwyn Jones: Congratulations Vaughan on winning the post of First Minister. Vaughan Gething: Hey, you are welcome Carwyn. Had a little help from my flexible friend. Carwyn Jones: What, your visa card? Vaughan Gething: No Carwyn, silly lol . I used my magic money dustbin David Neal. I recycled his money. Carwyn Jones: Here’s some advice Vaughan. If & when you pass a law in the future protecting the sanctity of Welsh devolution, do as I did by dissolving the law after being promised Welsh devolution would… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by Y Cymro
A Evans
A Evans
22 days ago

“BUT, until that time comes I’ll keep the money!

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