Welsh First Minister under pressure over donation from recycling firm


Welsh first minister

The Welsh First Minister Vaughan Gething is facing calls to return a £200,000 campaign donation from a recycling firm which is owned by a man who has been prosecuted for illegally dumping waste.

Recycling firm Dauson Environmental Group donated £100,000 on 18 December 2023, and £100,000 on 11 January 2024, to Gething’s leadership campaign.

In 2013, David John Neal was given a three-month suspended sentence after a recycling firm he owned illegally disposed of waste in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Neal was also fined £10,000 and two of his firms were ordered to pay fines and costs of £202,000 after he pleaded guilty at Cardiff Magistrates Court.

In 2017, Neal admitted to not complying with the environmental permit ordering him to remove the waste and handed a suspended 18 week sentence and fines and costs of £230,000.

Gething has insisted he cannot and will not take any decision as First Minister of Wales related to Dauson Environmental Group.

Labour MSs voted down a motion in Senedd Cymru calling on Gething to appoint an independent advisor to the ministerial code to investigate any conflict of interest that may exist in relation to the donation.

In March this year, Atlantic Recycling, which Neal is a Director of, was fined £300,000 after a father-of-two was killed by a shovel loader in 2019.

Anthony Bilton was killed on 4 September 2019 when he was run over from behind by a Volvo shovel loader at Atlantic Recycling Limited’s Atlantic Ecopark site in Cardiff.

The HSE investigation found that although a risk assessment had been produced before the work commenced, it was “not suitable nor sufficient” and did not include work taking place in the woodyard.

In April, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) took enforcement action against Resources Management UK Ltd, which Neal is a Director of, over the Withyhedge Landfill in Pembrokeshire.

NRW said it set out the “urgent steps” Resource Management UK Ltd must take to address the ongoing odour and landfill gas emission issues at the site.

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