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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The row about Brian Gibbons' grant of £2 million to the Cardiff Children's Hospital rolled on today with the revelation that not only did he not make the announcement when the decision was taken back in March, but he did not tell the Noah's Ark Appeal either.

In the Radio Wales' discussion on this issue this morning, Labour's Huw Lewis was adamant that the health minister was right to bring the decision into the public domain now so as to put the record straight. Incredibly, Huw claimed that the Western Mail had egg on its face and had made a clear error which needed to be corrected. It took Jenny Randerson to state the obvious, that the paper could not have made a mistake because the grant decision had been a secret and the Western Mail could not possibly have known any different.

Although the extra money to the hospital is very welcome, it remains the case that work cannot start on phase two until an additional £3 million of revenue funding is found. It would also be nice of course if a similar injection of cash was made into children's services in Swansea and West Wales. Nevertheless, the more information that comes out about this announcement the clearer it becomes that it was contrary to the Assembly rules. The ultimate arbiter in this row is the First Minister himself. I look forward to his ruling.
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