Surplus Vaughan Gething donations will not go to Labour party

Daniel Green

Donations left over from Welsh First Minister Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign will not be passed on to Labour, the Welsh Labour Party has confirmed.

The decision not to allow the money to be transferred to Labour reduces the risk of dragging the national Labour leadership into the major donation controversy shrouding Gething since he took office.

Some £31,600 is reported to have been left over from the £251,600 he raised in his leadership bid. This included £200,000 from Dauson Environmental Group, owned by David John Neal – who had previously been convicted of environmental offences.

Gething’s campaign has said donations made by the company were declared in line with the rules.

However, figures within Labour had raised concerns about the party receiving the money.

A Welsh Labour spokesperson confirmed the First Minister would be “donating surplus funds from his campaign to wider progressive causes”.

The causes that will receive the money will be approved by the full Welsh Executive Committee.

Under party rules, the surplus donations would have gone to the Labour Party, but the First Minister, who has been in post since late March, had faced calls to repay the money received from Dauson Environmental Group. The firm owns several  businesses including in waste, demolition and soil supply.

The move comes days after Plaid Cymru withdrew from a co-operation agreement with Welsh Labour in the Senedd.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “I remain deeply concerned that the First Minister has failed to pay back the £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a company convicted of environmental offences and believe it demonstrates a significant lack of judgement.”

Andrew RT Davies, Conservative leader in the Senedd, said opposition members in the parliament could bring forward a no confidence motion to force Gething’s resignation.

Labour has 30 of the 60 members in the chamber, meaning at least one Labour member would need to abstain or vote against the party in order for any no confidence vote to pass.

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