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Labour and Tories criticised for ‘dodgy donations’ during Wales Office Questions

08 May 2024 4 minute read
David TC Davies during Wales Office Questions. 

Emily Price

Both Labour and the Tories have been criticised for “dodgy donation” scandals during Wales Office Questions in the House of Commons today.

Speaking to the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts raised the the issue of the current controversies surrounding First Minister Vaughan Gething.

Noting 25 years since the advent of devolution, Ms Saville Roberts accused Mr Gething of being “distracted with questions about his integrity after deleting messages and taking dodgy donations”.

In March, Nation.Cymru revealed how a signifiant donation made to the First Minister’s election campaign totalling £200,000 came from a company run by a man twice convicted for environmental offences.

We later reported that the same company was £400,000 in debt to the Development Bank of Wales – a bank wholly owned by the Welsh Government.

The loan was awarded to the company when Vaughan Gething was the Economy Minister.

In another exclusive report on Tuesday (May 7), Nation.Cymru revealed that the First Minister may have misled the UK Covid Inquiry by deleting records of conversations he had with other ministers during the height of the pandemic.

A previously undisclosed message sent by Mr Gething to his ministerial colleagues in an iMessage group chat on August 17 2020 by the then Health Minister said: “I’m deleting the messages in this group. They can be captured in an FOI [Freedom of Information request] and I think we are all in the right place on the choice being made.”

Denial

The message was sent when Wales was still subject to Covid restrictions following the first lockdown.

The First Minister has denied any wrong doing saying, “the message relates to a discussion within the Labour group and about how people do and don’t talk to each other.”

But senior Labour sources told Nation.Cymru the message “100%” relates to decisions made by Welsh Government ministers during the pandemic.

In Westminster today, Ms Saville Roberts called on both the UK and Welsh Governments to “recommit to governing with integrity and transparency”.

The Secretary of State for Wales responded saying the UK Government was “completely committed towards integrity” whilst the Labour benches erupted into laughter.

Mr Davies said: “They are laughing Mr Speaker, their own First Minister took £200,000 from a convicted criminal who had received £400,000 from a bank for which he was responsible.

“Went in front of the Covid Committee and said that all the messages on his phone had been accidentally deleted by the IT department.

“But now we see a screenshot where he urges people to delete their messages so they can’t be FOI’d – and they have the audacity to sit there laughing.”

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader hit back accusing the Secretary of State for Wales, of “hypocrisy” adding that the Tories had “still not returned a £10 million donation from a man who made racist and misogynistic remarks”.

She said: “When it comes to the Secretary of State’s judgements in relation to the First Minister, yes we are once in agreement.

“But this screams hypocrisy. The Tories in the Senedd voted against a Plaid Cymru motion to set a cap on political donations. His party has still not returned a £10 million donation from a man who made racist and misogynistic remarks.

“In that spirit of open democracy – will the Secretary of State support a cap on donations to political parties?”

Mr Davies responded saying he wasn’t going to make up policy “on the hoof”.

He added: “I wouldn’t have taken hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from somebody who had been convicted twice of environmental offences.”

The Secretary of State for Wales announced on Tuesday afternoon that he had written to the UK Covid Inquiry Chair, Baroness Heather Hallett, calling for the First Minister to be recalled to the Inquiry.

A spokesman for the UK Covid-19 Inquiry confirmed it has been made aware of the message and is now considering whether Mr Gething will need to provide further evidence.


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
15 days ago

The Conservatives are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to donations. Yes , Welsh Labour FM Vaughan Gething should do the right thing by returning the £200,000 donation from a businessman twice convicted for damaging our previous Welsh environment. But I do find it hilarious to hear that treacherous political pygmy David TC Davies preach to all about dodgy dealings with his corrupt party’s record over the years.

Jeff
Jeff
15 days ago

Must be stinging when the Conservative think they can go in on donation, or are they that sold on their stance as in the clear? Hesters loot for example, rubles washing around in the Tory coffers, PPE and all. I would expect Mr Davies to go after all transgression and dubious bungs with the same vigour, no matter the party.

robin campbell
robin campbell
15 days ago

First time I’ve watched WQ right through. No one should be in any doubt that Wales is treated as a colony by both Tories and the pretend Socialist Welsh MPs

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