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Welsh Labour criticised for claims voters don’t care about Gething donations scandal

28 May 2024 4 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Matthew Horwood/Welsh Government

Emily Price

Welsh Labour have been criticised for claiming voters don’t care about donations to Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign despite a new poll showing that the public overwhelmingly agree he should return the money.

The poll conducted on 18-19 May by Redfield and Wilton Strategies in partnership with WalesOnline quizzed Welsh voters on the controversial £200,000 donation which the First Minister accepted from a convicted polluter.

70 per cent of the weighted sample of 900 people from Wales agreed or strongly agreed that the money should be handed back – a call the First Minister has so far rejected.

Only 9 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that the money should be returned.

Former Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones is set to look into the electoral finances of the First Minister in an internal investigation.

But 58 per cent of those polled said they would support an independent inquiry into the scandal whilst only 15 per cent were opposed or strongly opposed to such a probe.

In February, Nation.Cymru revealed that Dauson Environmental Group, based in Mr Gething’s constituency, made two £100,000 donations to his campaign.

The main director of Dauson, David Neal, has received two suspended prison sentences for illegally dumping toxic sludge in the Gwent Levels, a sensitive conservation site near Newport.

Mr Gething says he hasn’t “done anything outside of the rules”.

38 per cent of Welsh voters said Mr Gething should return the money and resign as First Minister.

Scandal

Following the announcement of a General Election last week, Mr Gething kicked off Welsh Labour’s campaign in Llandudno.

Speaking with BBC Wales whilst out canvassing, he said the subject of his donation isn’t something Welsh voters want to ask about.

On Politics Wales on Sunday (May 27), Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Jo Stevens said she spent two days “out on the doors” with Mr Gething and that the £200,000 donation was “not an issue”.

She said: “We spoke to 400 people in Barry and one person raised the issue of donations. Whilst the media might be churning this story over every single day to give it greater legs – this is not an issue.”

The Labour MP for Cardiff Central added that what matters in this election is “change and economic stability”.

Concern

We asked Ms Stevens if she agrees that the polling results show that the donation scandal is a concern for Welsh voters.

We also asked whether she accepts that people in Wales can be concerned about the economy and also have an opinion on the First Minister taking money from a convicted polluter.

Nether she, nor Welsh Labour, responded to our requests for comment.

Redfield and Wilton also polled Welsh voters on Mr Gething’s decision to sack the Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn.

She was accused of being the source of a leak to NationCymru that revealed Mr Gething had deleted messages that should have been provided to the UK Covid Inquiry

The Delyn MS denied the allegation saying, “I’ve never leaked anything”.

Covid Inquiry

16 per cent of those polled support Mr Gething’s decision to sack the junior minister, whilst 34 per cent disapprove of his decision to do so.

60 per cent of Welsh voters would support the former health minister being asked to return to provide further testimony to the UK Covid Inquiry.

Plaid Cymru’s Health and Care spokesperson, Mabon ap Gwynfor, says there is “discernible public concern” surrounding Mr Gething’s various controversies.

He said: “The First Minister has previously refused to accept that the public are concerned about the scandals that surround him because the polling evidence didn’t support such a claim, he said.

“This is palpably not true now with 58% of the voting pubic agreeing that an inquiry should be held into the huge donations the First Minister received from a convicted polluter.

“This issue will only serve to erode confidence not only in the First Minister but in the Senedd and in politics unless the First Minister is completely transparent and commissions an independent inquiry.”

“There is justifiable concerns about the leaked iMessages, and the people of Wales agree with us that the First Minister should be recalled to the Covid Inquiry to explain the discrepancy between what he said about not deleting any messages and the information that has come to light since.

“Families of those who passed away deserve to know how decisions were made in Wales, and it’s in the interests of all of us that this is properly scrutinised so that we learn from this experience. It seems that Hannah Blythyn is paying the price for the First Minister being caught out, and that cannot be right.”


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 days ago

Is this the new low Welsh Labour has reached. They’ve become political bottom feeders like those Conservative /Labour crooks at Westminster. This attitude is a sign they have been in power for far too long. It’s not okay to assume the public are happy that receiving dodgy donations from a convicted criminal is acceptable. You cannot brush it under the carpet that easily. Roll on the next Senedd election when we take a broom to and clear our the old tired Welsh Labour and elect a new nationalist government & first minister in Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Why vote
Why vote
5 days ago

These people want our votes? Bending the information at hand to arrive at a statement proving they have done no wrong then use their own corrupted statements as fact to gain our trust respect and votes, it doesn’t work like that politicians should be above reproach at all times to gain our trust and respect it seems politicians today have either forgot or don’t care about honesty and trust anymore. If they don’t stop the we know best attitude why should we bother to vote for them. It is that simple.

John Ellis
John Ellis
5 days ago

I’m just one ordinary Welsh voter, but I certainly do ‘care’ about this..

lufcwls
lufcwls
5 days ago

He should never have been prif wenidog

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
5 days ago

In the valleys we’ve got over a hundred years experience of how dodgy the labour party are, their corrupt practices in planning and nepotistic recruitment practices are well known.

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