Mark Drakeford has come under fire after it was revealed the Qatari government paid for the Welsh First Minister to stay at a luxury five-star hotel during the World Cup.
The Labour politician enjoyed a three-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Doha, which sits on a private island, at the expense of the tournament’s host nation.
Opposition parties have warned Mr Drakeford’s acceptance of hospitality from the Middle East state risked undermining the Welsh Government’s stance on human rights.
The First Minister is facing calls to donate the equivalent cost of the trip to charities.
He had already been criticised after it was revealed last month that £13,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on his and a fellow minister’s trip to Qatar.
Prior to attending the tournament, Mr Drakeford had insisted his visit would allow him to ‘shine a light’ on human rights abuses.
The lead-up to the World Cup had been dominated by global condemnation of Qatar over migrant workers’ deaths and its treatment of women and LGBT people.
Mr Drakeford attended Wales’ opening group match against the USA, while economy minister Vaughan Gething attended Wales v England.
A Freedom of Information request by BBC Wales has revealed Mr Drakeford, Mr Gething and four officials were put up for three nights in the Ritz-Carlton.
Qatar was shown to have provided the accommodation, board, and transport as part of a hospitality package offered to all delegates and their travelling parties attending the football tournament.
The Ritz-Carlton boasts of creating a ‘rich resort experience defined by elegance’ and has sea views over the Arabian Gulf.
It has a private beach, two pools, spa, seven restaurants and bars, two ballrooms and a marina for boats and jet-skis.
Rooms for this weekend are advertised as costing from around £225 a night up to nearly £8,000 a night for a suite.
Jane Dodds, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: ‘By accepting this gift from the Qatari government, Mark Drakeford has potentially undermined the Welsh Government’s commitment towards human rights, LGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights.’
Read More: Mark Drakeford under fire