As many of you will be aware, there is a great deal of concern surrounding the First Minister’s decision to accept donations for his leadership campaign.


There is one in particular which has raised plenty of eyebrows, and that is the £200,000 donation by a company whose owner was convicted of environmental crimes.


What has really caused concern is the fact that the same company applied to build a solar farm requiring the Welsh Government’s approval on the same day as that donation was accepted.


£200,000 is an eyewatering record-amount of money for a leadership campaign here in Wales, a sum which eclipses donations made to his rival and the previous First Minster.


While I am sure that everything was done above board, public perception is incredibly important - especially for a new First Minister.


It is clear that many Labour members are equally concerned about this, as several of his colleagues have stressed that they would not have taken the donation.


Last week, the Welsh Conservatives tabled a Senedd motion regarding the First Minister’s donations, calling on him to appoint an independent advisor to the ministerial code to investigate any perceived conflict of interest that may exist in relation to the donation - to clear this matter up once and for all.


I have to be honest, I was incredibly disappointed by the First Minister’s decision not to speak or even attend the debate, especially considering the matter of the Ministerial Code falls under his remit. 


I take the matter of the Member’s Code of Conduct incredibly seriously and any perceived breach must of course be investigated.


Honesty and integrity are crucial for public trust and even the perception of any wrongdoing can damage that.


While the First Minister has announced that there will be an investigation into the matter, it will be headed up by Carwyn Jones, a former First Minister.


I do not wish to question Mr Jones’ impartiality, however, there clearly is a perceived conflict of interest.


The people of Wales urgently need to see an independent investigation into the First Minister’s donations so that the country can move on.


Without one, this shadow will hang over the First Minister and could prove to be a distraction for the Welsh Government when they should be concerned about tackling Wales’ NHS waiting times, poor educational outcomes and low wages.