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PM Rishi Sunak calls for investigation into Gething’s ‘dodgy donations’

01 May 2024 4 minute read

Martin Shipton

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for an investigation into Vaughan Gething’s acceptance of a donation of £200,000 from a convicted criminal.

Former Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb raised the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House Commons.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire Tory MP said: “For six months thousands of my constituents have lived with foul polluted air from the Withyhedge landfill site. The company is owned by somebody with previous convictions for environmental crimes and who a few months ago gave £200,000 to help Vaughan Gething become the First Minister of Wales, after another of his other companies was loaned £400,000 from the Development Bank of Wales, overseen by the then Economy Minister Vaughan Gething.

“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that this serious matter demands an independent investigation? It’s not some internal Labour Party matter and ultimately that company needs to get out of my constituency and let people in Pembrokeshire have their quality of life back.”

Important issue

Mr Sunak responded: “My Right Honourable Friend brings up an incredibly important issue and I know that people in Wales are concerned about the relationship that he mentioned and I also agree with him about the need for transparency and an investigation regarding the Welsh Labour leader, because it’s very clear that the situation is not at all transparent and answers are needed.”

The Welsh political world was rocked when Nation.Cymru reported in February how Dauson Environmental Group Ltd had donated a total of £200,000 to the Cardiff South and Penarth MS – a sum way in excess of previous donations to Welsh politicians.

Dauson and its subsidiary companies, including Atlantic Recycling Ltd, are owned by businessman David Neal, who has received two suspended jail sentences for illegally dumping toxic sludge at the Gwent Levels, a sensitive wetlands landscape with a protected status to the south east of Newport.

Mr Gething narrowly defeated Jeremy Miles in the contest to succeed Mark Drakeford as party leader, a victory that made his election as First Minister inevitable. Many take the view that he could not have won without the considerable financial support provided to him by Dauson. It is understood that a significant share of the money was used to pay individuals to make campaign phone calls to party members from a phone bank in the run-up to the leadership election.

Political donations

Entries on the Electoral Commission’s register of political donations show that Dauson Environmental Group, based in Mr Gething’s constituency, donated £100k to his campaign on December 18 2023 and a further £100k on January 11 2024. Both donations were registered with the Commission on February 7 2024.

A business researcher who does not wish to be named contacted Nation.Cymru and told us: “Companies House records show that money was lent to Atlantic Recycling and Dauson Environmental Group by the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) during the period when Vaughan Gething, in his previous role as Economy Minister, was the minister responsible for DBW. The Welsh Government owns 100% of DBW’s shares.

“The 2022/23 accounts just filed show that a £400k bank debt was raised during that year, which accords with DBW taking charges over Dauson and Atlantic on February 28 2023. So it’s probably DBW who lent the money.

“If this company needed to borrow £400k, how was it in a position to lend £200k as a political donation to the Minister responsible for DBW? The implication is that money lent by DBW to the group may effectively have ended up being donated to Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign.”

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have said there were “several serious permit breaches” and “poor management” at the Withyhedge landfill site in Pembrokeshire, where residents have complained about smells that resemble a “stink bomb on steroids”. The smell is said to have begun in October last year.

Resources Management UK Limited, part of Dauson Environmental Group, says work is being carried out.

So far as his donations are concerned, Mr Gething has consistently maintained that they are within the rules.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
20 days ago

David Neal is not the only one causing a stink…

The Bay Laundry air vent is turning into a Dwr Cymru outflow…

Helped by the fifth estate…

Cymru’s reputation is being dragged through the mud…unintended consequences?

Riki
Riki
20 days ago

Wow, they literally have no shame. Everything he’s accusing Vaughan Gething of doing, he is also doing. Gething is like non league, Rishi is in the Premiership. Rishi will even wage a genocide in order to get what he wants.

Jeff
Jeff
20 days ago

Mr Gethin does have answers to give but the PM really needs to keep his head down on this. Hesters loot, Mohamed Mansour (just got a Sir for some reason……), that is before you look at Russian loot finding its way to Tory coffers pre Ukraine and questions remain there.
Energy firms setting Sunaks environmental agenda as well.

Last edited 20 days ago by Jeff
Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
20 days ago

The Tories have Taken money from a country that is an enemy of the U K they have Taken money of RUSSIANS and not forgeting millions of Dodgy buisnessmen

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
20 days ago

Hmmm, I wonder if there would have been such a call from Sunak if the First Minister was a Conservative? Yes, the donation smells a bit dodgy but I question the Tory motive for pursuing the issue, especially considering they are far far from squeaky clean!

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
20 days ago

Fine.
Can his wife also be properly investigated for dodgy tax avoidance goings on as well?

CapM
CapM
20 days ago

Said Mr Pot to Mr Kettle.

Hopefully come election time voters will remember the hypocrisy shown by both.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
20 days ago

Sure FM Vaughan Gething’s donation from a convicted ecco criminal can’t be brushed aside as if it didn’t happen, but for Rishy Sunak of all people call for an investigation with his crooked party’s record since 2014 is laughable. What about his Conservative party offering peerages to donors if they give large amounts of money. I can remember a sum given amounting to £3 million as reported by the Independent a few years back. So Rishy as much as I want Welsh Labour ousted as Welsh Government don’t throw stones in a glass house because your scummy party are full… Read more »

Mai
Mai
20 days ago

Careful what you wish for as if he gets ousted it could bring back the Miles/Waters Dastardly green obsessed double act… Hammering farmers and drivers will be back in the forefront at any cost despite us having far bigger day to day issues to tackle in Cymru fach than ‘Global Warming/Climate Change/Greta hyperbole’. Gethin has a chance to be effectual if he focuses up properly on real peoples priorities over his party cronies’ virtuous ideological posturing that will have absolutely ZERO global impact.

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