The British Electoral Commission said on Tuesday that it had fined Plaid Cymru £29,000 for misreporting its cash donations following an investigation into two years of the party's expenses.
The Welsh political party had omitted a total of 36 donations worth over £497,000 in a report in May 2018, resulting in a "lack of effective internal processes", the Commission said in a statement.
This scale indicates something seriously wrong in Plaid Cymru's financial department.— Dan Bloom (@danbloom1) February 18, 2020
"The Commission’s investigations pointed to a lack of effective internal processes, which led to a failure to understand the reporting requirements." pic.twitter.com/pKeK3aN4Gn
Louise Edwards, the Commissions director of regulation, said: “The total number and value of donations omitted from Plaid Cymru’s quarterly reports is significant and reveals a substantial degree of non-compliance. Plaid Cymru is a well-established party and it should be able to meet its reporting obligations.
She added that it was "vital" that voters could see "full and accurate financial records" showing where a party receives its funding, adding that the party's failure to meet legal requirements led to a "disappointing lack of transparency into the party's finances".
— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) February 18, 2020
She concluded: “Voters can have confidence that, where parties fail to comply with the rules and there is no reasonable explanation, we will take action.
— UndebPlaidCymru (@UndebPlaidCymru) February 17, 2020
But a Plaid Cymru spokesperson said that the matter was "historic in nature" and did not involve private donations.
The spokesperson added: "As soon as Plaid Cymru were notified, the Party immediately corrected this oversight and is now in full compliance. All public funds have been fully reported in the Party's Annual Report."
But a spokesperson from the party's official trade union wing slammed the report as biased.
"You were warned," the spokesperson said. "The British are coming after the Welsh."