“End this nonsense and give the money back”- Welsh Lib Dems urge First Minister to return dodgy donations

2 May 2024

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have urged the First Minister to return the £200,000 donation he received from a company linked to environmental crimes.

Speaking to the Senedd on Wednesday, party leader Jane Dodds MS urged the FM Vaughan Gething to return money donated to his campaign by Dauson Environmental, a refuse and recycling business owned by David John Neal.

Mr Neal received a 3-month suspended prison sentence in 2013 for illegally dumping waste at a conservation site on the Gwent levels.

His companies Atlantic Recycling and Neal Soil Suppliers were also prosecuted and given fines and costs of £202,000.

Then in 2017, Mr Neal was given another suspended sentence of 18 weeks, with fines and costs of £230,000 after failing to remove the waste.

The Welsh Lib Dems have called on the FM to return the donation, as part of wider calls for a shift away from the influence of “big money” in Welsh politics.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“This entire episode has casted a dark shadow upon Welsh democracy and has rightfully led to many questioning the integrity of Vaughan Gething’s leadership campaign and the way our democracy works here in Wales.

Unfortunately for many of us this is hardly surprising, as our political system has been broken for quite some time now.

A system that empowers the elite donor class whilst simultaneously shutting out the voice of the voter is a perversion of democracy itself.

This is why our wider goal must be to remove the influence of ‘big money’ from Welsh politics once and for all.

We cannot have another government that prioritises the interests of its financial benefactors over those of the Welsh people. 

We need to take a firm stance in rooting out the influence of cash in Welsh politics, for the sake of our communities we must start prioritising their interests and needs instead of having more self-serving politicians.”

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