Vaughan Gething £200k donation controversy, Plaid warn Labour of sleaze

Revelations that the owner of a company who contributed to Vaughan Gething’s Labour leadership campaign is in debt to the Development Bank of Wales which is wholly owned by the Welsh Government threatens to take the saga to Westminster levels of sleaze, Plaid Cymru’s Leader has said.


Reiterating his call for an independent investigation under the Ministerial Code into Vaughan Gething’s donations, Rhun ap Iorwerth said that the First Minister could not act as judge and jury when it comes to his own conduct.


Mr ap Iorwerth said that Welsh democracy is being undermined, compounded by Mr Gething’s wall of silence on the matter.


Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:


“Sleaze has sadly been normalised in Westminster politics over the last few decades which has denigrated our democracy.


Sadly, it is now threatens to rear its head in Welsh politics through this donations saga which continues to dominate the Labour First Minister’s first few weeks in office.


The First Minister either knew of the doner’s convictions and thought nothing of it or failed to undertake due diligence.


Mr Gething cannot just hope that putting a tin hat on will make the issue go away.


The revelation that Dauson is in debt to the development bank of Wales – wholly owned by Welsh government – has raised concerns even more, it goes to the heart of government operations.


The Ministerial Code is clear;

Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests.

And Ministers should not accept any gift or hospitality which might or might not reasonably appear to compromise their judgement.

I believe that threshold has been reached, and it’s why I wrote to the Permanent Secretary asking for a full independent inquiry and for the findings to be made public.

The public would have little confidence, I think, in a process whereby the First Minister acts as judge and jury in his own case.


The First Minister has now commissioned one of his predecessors, Carwyn Jones to undertake a review of the rules surrounding donations in its leadership contests.


In the interests of transparency it’s regrettable than the First Minister chose a party insider rather someone unaffiliated to Labour to do that review – but at least there’s hope that Carwyn Jones won’t pull his punches having previously called the donations “unfortunate” and claiming that the First Minister has “lessons to learn”.


The last First Minister told me that the Labour leadership contest was none of my business. All of this shows it’s ALL of our business – it’s ultimately the Labour party that chose this First Minister, so in that context – the First Minister must commit to making the findings of the review public.”


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