Questions Raised over Euro-Funded Research Group That Is Linked to Plaid; MORGAN DEFENDS 'PROMOTION OF PEACE' PROJECT AND CASH SUPPORT

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Questions Raised over Euro-Funded Research Group That Is Linked to Plaid; MORGAN DEFENDS 'PROMOTION OF PEACE' PROJECT AND CASH SUPPORT


Byline: MARTIN SHIPTON Chief Reporter martin.shipton@walesonline.co.uk

QUESTIONS have been raised by Labour about the way EU public money has been channelled to an unregistered research foundation linked to Plaid Cymru.

Syd Morgan, the husband of Plaid MEP Jill Evans, was until September last year a member of the controlling "bureau" of the Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC), a Brussels-based organisation that researches European issues from a nationalist perspective. It receives around E250,000 (about PS200,000) a year from the European Parliament.

During his time as a CMC bureau member, the organisation funded a project undertaken by the Welsh Nationalism Foundation, a body founded by Mr Morgan and his friend Alan Sandry, the author of a book on Plaid Cymru. Mr Sandry is currently a bureau member.

The Welsh Nationalism Foundation is an unincorporated body and does not publish accounts. Potential donors are invited on the body's website to send cheques to Mr Morgan at the home he shares with Ms Evans in Tonypandy.

Welsh Labour's Vaughan Gething AM said: "There are serious questions to be answered about the Welsh Nationalism Foundation. There is a real lack of transparency about its funding.

"According to its website its projects are part-funded by the Centre Maurits Coppieters which is very largely funded by the taxpayer through European grants.

"There is no excuse for the Foundation not to have a transparent system of accounts for all of its projects that are essentially publicly funded. That is what we would expect of any other organisation.

"There also appears to be a conflict of interest that leading Foundation members Alan Sandry and Syd Morgan have also been bureau members of the CMC.

"They appear to be awarding public funds to their own organisation. That makes it even more important to have real transparency over how the Foundation uses public money.

"The Foundation needs to explain how much public money it has received from the CMC, what it has spent public money on and how long they have been getting public money.

"According to Syd Morgan, Plaid Cymru is associated with the Foundation.

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