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Vaughan Gething to face opposition showdown over donation scandal

25 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Rhun ap Iorwerth and Andrew RT Davies – Images: Senedd Cymru

Emily Price

Vaughan Gething will face debates brought by opposition parties in the Senedd next week over his controversial campaign donation.

Both the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have tabled Senedd motions for Wednesday (May 1).

Plaid Cymru’s motion calls for a cap on future political donations.

The Welsh Conservative motion calls for the First Minister to appoint an independent advisor to investigate any conflict of interests that may exist in relation to the donation.

Mr Gething accepted a £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign to be Welsh Labour leader from convicted polluter David Neal of Dauson Environmental Group.

Nation.Cymru later revealed that Dauson Environmental Group Ltd were £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.

Polluter

The newly elected First Minister has rejected calls from opposition parties for an independent probe into the scandal.

Plaid Cymru Leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth says Mr Gething has demonstrated a “contemptuous attitude towards political donations”.

He said: “In accepting £200,000 from an individual who he knew had been found guilty of environmental offences, Vaughan Gething has demonstrated a contemptuous attitude towards political donations.

“Not only would the eye watering sum of money not meet public approval, but it also raises wider questions about the First Minister’s judgement.

“Only an independent inquiry can bring this sorry chapter to a close.

“The purpose of having our own parliament is to be able to do things differently and to do them better. The First Minister seems utterly disinterested in seizing this opportunity.

“If he is to have any chance of restoring the Welsh public’s trust, the First Minister must urgently rethink his refusal to commission an independent inquiry and commit to supporting Plaid Cymru’s calls for a cap on individual donations.”

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies says that whilst the political discourse is allowed to continue, the focus is being shifted away from important issues such as NHS waiting lists.

He said: “It’s time to put this issue to bed once and for all.

“Vaughan Gething’s Government has stalled before it could get going, with a senior Minister openly questioning his judgement, all while our public services suffer.

“In order to get on with the job of tackling Labour’s soaring waiting lists, the cancer crisis and poor educational attainment, we need to see a full, independent investigation into Gething’s campaign finances.”

Neither motion is likely to be passed, even if opposition parties opted to stick together.

Labour holds half of the seats in the Senedd and in the event of a deadlock, the Llywydd, Elin Jones, is obliged to vote against changing the status quo.


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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
27 days ago

“Showdown??” Two whimpering motions from a whimpering opposition.
Is Plaid Cymru going to continue its agreement with Labour?
And the REAL question. Why is it that – to its enormous credit – Nation Cymru – is asking the questions and furthermore discovered yet another questionable decision by the First Minister.
The sound of snoring from the opposition benches is getting louder.

hdavies15
hdavies15
27 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Makes one wonder what is the purpose of bothering with Y Senedd. Except, of course, to dispose of it and revert to first base or further back would be just what the Unionists in LabConsLibs would wish for. Time Plaid got to grips with its purpose, or we back a replacement party with real nationalist values who want to drag us out of the gutter rather than burden us with a whole mass of tokenism as we drift into even deeper misery.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
26 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Well said. And I’ve just heard that Labour has dropped its pledge to make March First a National Holiday.
Will Plaid Cymru have something to say about that???? We know the answer…

Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago

“Scandal” – really? A politician is donated money by a business registered with Companies House and based in his own constituency, the donation is registered in compliance with the rules and no laws are broken.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

In one sense you are correct. However, was it Shakespeare who reminds us that like Ceaser’s wife, must be above suspicion.
The Senedd is the only legislature in Europe and possibly the world, that has a statutory duty to protect the environment. Whatever the legal niceties, Gethin has shown questionable judgment not only of his own actions, but an astonishing ignorance of this unique duty.
There is also the question of the £400,000 debt to the Bank of Wales. As Economics Minister and a friend of the recipient, did he declare an interest?

Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Regarding the 400k loan there is zero evidence of impropriety and the Bank have said the loan has or is well on the way to being paid off.

CapM
CapM
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

£5 million donation to the Tory party by Hester.
No laws were broken.
So no scandal.

Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago
Reply to  CapM

I think Hester’s donation was at least £10 million. But Hesters’s case is completely irrelevant and different in multiple ways. However, I would say that a lot of nonsense has been said about VG’s situation being ignored by the media. VG’s donation has been in the press far longer than Hester’s.

FrankC
FrankC
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

It is different. Gething used the money to help him fix Welsh Labour’s leadership election. He bought the position of First Minister with dirty money and brought Welsh democracy into disrepute. He’s a disgrace.

Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago
Reply to  FrankC

“Fix” – he was elected. “Bought the position” – he was elected. “Dirty money” – money from a legally constituted company from his own constituency.

FrankC
FrankC
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

Are you the only person in Wales that hasn’t been following this disgraceful saga?

Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago
Reply to  FrankC

Instead of throwing wild accusations and descriptions around about what has happened, please in your own words, provide me with the facts about what happened that was “disgraceful” and what should happen with Vaughan Gething.

CapM
CapM
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

A fact is that Gething accepted £200 000 from convicted .
polluter David Neal of Dauson Environmental Group.

As you and Gething keep repeating that was not illegal.
Whether it is ‘disgraceful’ is a matter of opinion.

An investigation would provide the opportunity to determine if there are other facts, legal or otherwise that the Senedd should be aware of.

Mab Merion
Mab Merion
26 days ago

What a way to start a new era…

On the other hand the old place (Cymru) is greening up lovely, the birds are singing and garden fences are getting painted.

Shame about our political class, they don’t have any…class that is…;

max wallis
max wallis
26 days ago

Both Tory and Plaid motions miss involving the Nolan principles for conduct in public life. It’s not only the donations but also the e-mails he sent pressurising NRW to go easy on the donor’s transgressions. BBC Wales and walesonline both reported them in detail/ Nolan’s integrity principle as amended for Wales in 2021 reads: 3. Integrity and propriety   Members must not put themselves in a position where their integrity is called into question by any financial or other obligation to individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their duties. Members must on all occasions avoid the… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by max wallis
Llyn
Llyn
26 days ago
Reply to  max wallis

“pressurised” – VG was writing a letter on behalf of a company in his constituency. That’s the sort of work he and all the other MSs are there to do. Hardly a scandal.

CapM
CapM
26 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

I imagine that Gething is a busy man. Does he as a matter of course write letters on behalf of every single company or constituent that contacts him or does he select which cases on which to spend his time and effort?.

Would the likelihood of receiving a large donation to benefit the furtherance of his career perhaps help him with such a selection.

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