Vaughan Gething: 'Very difficult' time for government, says Wales's first minister

Wales's first minister Vaughan Gething has said it has been a "very difficult time for members across the government".

The Labour leader faced further questions on Tuesday over a controversial £200k donation to his leadership campaign.

Critics have argued that he should not have accepted the money from a man convicted of environmental offences. Mr Gething has said the donation was within the rules.

It was the first time Senedd members had the chance to question the first minister since Hannah Blythyn was sacked from the government last week for allegedly leaking messages to the media.

Ms Blythyn denied any wrongdoing and said she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by her dismissal.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said there was a "discrepancy" between the accounts of the first minister and the former minister.

"One of them is right and one of them is wrong," he said.

Mr Davies went on to say that the decision to sack Ms Blythyn meant her reputation "lies in tatters".

Mr Gething told the leader of the Welsh Conservative leader there was "a responsibility on [him] to make that choice" but that he would not give a "running commentary".

"I still think there is a future for [Ms Blythyn] in this institution and potentially in the government in the future," he added.

He also confirmed he would not publish the evidence as he said no other government would do so under similar circumstances.

Last week also saw Plaid Cymru pull out of a cooperation agreement with the Labour government.

The deal, which saw the Welsh nationalists lend their support on dozens of policy areas, was set to come to an end at the end of the year.

Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorwerth asked the first minister to confirm where the remaining £31k of the controversial donation money would now go.

Mr Gething said Plaid Cymru's withdrawal was a matter of "regret".

"I'd have been happy to see the agreement go through to the end," he added.

Read more:
FM 'entirely relaxed' after being accused of misleading inquiry
Some 20mph roads may return to 30mph by end of year

Mr Gething, who reaffirmed his commitment to reviewing future rules surrounding political donations, also confirmed the money remaining from his campaign would be donated to "progressive causes".

The money was previously expected to be returned to Labour centrally.

A Welsh Labour Party spokesperson said: "As agreed by the Officers of the Welsh Executive Committee (WEC), Vaughan Gething is donating surplus funds from his campaign to wider progressive causes."

Sky News understands the full WEC will now approve the donation, as per party protocols.