Miles 'would not have accepted' Gething's donation

Jeremy Miles
Jeremy Miles: "I would not have accepted it, but those questions are not for me" [BBC]

Welsh government minister Jeremy Miles says he "would not have accepted" a £200,000 donation given to Vaughan Gething during their rival bids to become first minister.

Mr Gething's leadership campaign was overshadowed by the donation from a company owned by a man prosecuted for waste offences.

He succeeded Mark Drakeford to become first minister in March, and Mr Miles has since become cabinet secretary for economy, energy and Welsh language.

Last month, Mr Gething was asked by BBC Politics Wales if he would return the money from Dauson Environmental Group Ltd, to which he said: "No. We've done nothing outside of the rules."

But Mr Miles told Sunday's programme he would not have accepted the money had he been offered it.

"These are for individual candidates to answer about individual donations, which they accept. I would not have accepted it, but those questions are not for me," he said.

Vaughan Gething
First Minister Vaughan Gething says there is "nothing wrong" with the financial donation made to him by an environmental firm [PA Media]

Mr Miles said that "individual campaign donations is not something that the cabinet is collectively responsible" and that he only wanted to "talk about things that we are collectively responsible for".

The Labour Party has announced a review into its processes following the row.

Mr Miles said: "It is important that we do a review but I don't think anybody thinks that a review can deal with any scenario because the question the public asks is 'was this allowed and was this the right thing to do?'"

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has written to the Welsh government's permanent secretary, Andrew Goodall, calling for an independent investigation into the matter.

It comes after it emerged this weekend that Dauson has received a loan from the Development Bank of Wales, an arm's length organisation owned by the Welsh government.

Mr Ap Iorwerth said: "It is clear that this matter has now gone beyond donations to Senedd Members.

"It strikes at the heart of government operations, and the relationship between ministers and private individuals."

He added: "I have little confidence that Mr Gething will investigate his own behaviour under the ministerial code."

20mph road sign
Mr Miles defended the Welsh government's default 20mph policy [BBC]

Later in Sunday's interview, Mr Miles defended the Welsh government's messaging on its default 20mph policy, after Transport Secretary Ken Skates suggested there would be major changes to the guidance which saw many 30mph zones reduced.

Mr Miles said: "It's a focus on the implementation rather than the underlying policy being changed."

Mr Skates said there will be changes in the 20mph policy that addresses the concerns people have raised.

And he is expected to outline changes in a statement to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Miles said he is focused on his new brief in government and is looking to make sure that he brings a "just transition to a green economy, opportunities for young people, fair work and investing growth".

"My task is to make sure we can deliver that," he added.

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