First Minister Vaughan Gething to give more than £30,000 from leadership campaign to Labour

First Minister Vaughan Gething will give more than £30,000 of unspent money from his leadership campaign to the Labour Party. Credit: PA Images

More than £31,600 which went unspent during First Minister Vaughan Gething's leadership campaign will be given to the Labour Party.

The news was first reported by BBC Wales and has since been confirmed by Labour sources.

Mr Gething received £251,600 during his campaign to replace Mark Drakeford as first minister, including a controversial £200,000 donation from a firm owned by a man previously convicted of environmental offences.

Significant questions were raised over the money given to the first minister by Dauson Environmental Group during the campaign. Those questions are still being asked, with Mr Gething almost two months into the job.

Mick Antoniw, a member of the Welsh Government cabinet, is among those to have previously warned the party against taking leftover money from Dauson Environmental Group.

Questions have been raised repeatedly over controversial donations given to Vaughan Gething's leadership campaign. Credit: Good Morning Britain

The rules of the leadership campaign - fought between Mr Gething and his now-economy secretary Jeremy Miles - mean any money left over has to go to the party.

Money given from Mr Gething's campaign reveals he spent roughly £219,000 during the campaign.

Mr Miles told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast on Thursday he had no cash to give, having spent the entirety of the £61,000 given to his unsuccessful bid to be first minister.

Money given to the Labour Party will count as going to UK Labour rather than Welsh Labour, according to the Electoral Commission.

However, what it is spent on will be up to Welsh Labour, with Mr Gething reportedly wanting it to be used for diversity programmes.

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Records from the Electoral Commission show the first minister, who replaced Mark Drakeford in the job in March, was given two separate donations of £100,000 by Dauson Environmental Group.

During the leadership campaign, Mr Gething was also given £25,000 by taxi company Veezu, more than £20,000 by Jeanne Marie Davies and £5,000 by Christopher Lyon.

The deadline for declaring any remaining money from the campaign is Thursday, 16 May.

A source in Vaughan Gething's campaign told the BBC: "Following the deadline of the election returns we can confirm that there is a remainder of £31,636. The party and the campaign teams will now make the necessary arrangements for the transfer of money."

Reacting to the development, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said the row over donations had become a "question for the whole Labour Party."

He added: “Labour campaigning may now be funded by cash from somebody convicted of environmental offences."

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said the issue of donations is a "question for the whole Labour Party." Credit: PA Images

Mr Davies said the public will soon "learn if Labour have the courage of their convictions".

Plaid Cymru South Wales Central Senedd Member Heledd Fychan called on the Labour Party to "show some moral leadership and return the money."

She said: "Unless Vaughan Gething does the right thing today and commits to returning the [Dauson] donation in full, serious and justified questions about his judgement won’t go away any time soon."

Ms Fychan added the row over donations so far had "marred the first minister’s first few months in office at a time when Wales’s schools and hospitals are facing huge challenges and need a leader focused on the job".

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