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Labour not keeping Vaughan Gething’s leftover cash

21 May 2024 3 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Senedd Cymru

Money donated to Vaughan Gething during his leadership campaign will not be given to the Labour Party but will instead go to “progressive causes”.

Concerns over a sizeable donation to his leadership campaign have dogged the First Minister since he took over the role in March.

Labour announced on Tuesday that the £31,000 left over from the £251,000 he raised will no longer go to the central party but instead be given to various causes.

It follows a series of attacks on Mr Gething’s judgment, from opposition groups and members of his own party, for having taken the money from a man previously convicted of environmental offences.

A Welsh Labour Party spokeswoman said: “As agreed by the officers of the Welsh Executive Committee, Vaughan Gething is donating surplus funds from his campaign to wider progressive causes.”


What the causes will be has not been confirmed, with the executive committee expected to look at a range of options put forward by the First Minister.

Mr Gething has faced calls from opposition groups to return a £200,000 donation he received during his Welsh Labour leadership run.

The First Minister took the money from the Dauson Environmental Group, which is owned by David Neal, who has previously been convicted of environmental offences.

Conflict of interest

Opposition groups have also raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest in the money coming from a company which was loaned £400,000 by the Welsh government-owned Development Bank of Wales (DBW).

The loan from the DBW was given to Neal Soil Suppliers, a subsidiary of Dauson, in 2023 to help purchase a solar farm.

During a debate on the money in the Senedd, Lee Waters, a member of Mr Gething’s own party, said the First Minister taking the money made him feel “deeply uncomfortable”, branding it “unjustifiable and wrong”.

Mr Gething has always insisted that he cannot take any decisions relating to Dauson, which is based in his constituency, and the DBW is entirely independent of ministers.

Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth says Labour’s rejection is proof of the First Minister’s “serious error of judgement”.

He said: “Last week, it was announced that £31,000 –left over from the £200,000 donated to Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign from a convicted environmental polluter, would be going to the Labour party centrally.

“Today we’re told that’s it’s being donated to progressive causes. The apparent rejection of the cash by Labour proves the First Minister’s serious error of judgement in being more than happy to take it in the first place.

“The right thing to do all along would have been to pay back the entire amount.

“From deleting messages to dodgy donations, the First Minister is surrounded by crisis and is government is distracted from delivering for the people of Wales. Plaid Cymru is ready to get on with the job and offer the people of Wales a real alternative – with bold ideas which match the people of Wales’s aspirations for our country.

Reacting to the news that Labour would not keep the money, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies said: “This is a damning indictment of Vaughan Gething’s judgment by his own party.

“Not even the Labour Party that elected Jeremy Corbyn wants to touch this money with a bargepole.”

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12 days ago

But there was nothing wrong with it or so we were told.

Why vote
Why vote
12 days ago

What did he spend two hundred and twenty thousand pounds on ?

12 days ago
Reply to  Why vote

Apart from fibbing he also knows how to blow his way through a shed full of cash.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
12 days ago

Is this man not aware of how damaging this is to him? Is it REALLY worth it?

12 days ago

So many of these lines remind me of what comes from the Tories in Westminster.
Gething’s assertion he’s done nothing wrong is an uncanny echo of Johnson.

I hope one of these ‘progressive causes’ is the renewal, or ideally increase, of Nation.Cymru’s grant. My fear is that straitened financial circumstances may provide an excuse for it’s removal. A little spite goes a long way.

12 days ago

Might have to approach quite a few progressive causes before the Labour Party finds a group that wants to accept this tainted money.

12 days ago
Reply to  Geraint

Most so called “progressives” are only in it for the cash !

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