Mark Drakeford spent £13,000 of taxpayers’ money on a trip to the World Cup in Qatar, it has emerged.
Vaughan Gething, the Welsh economy minister, attended his nation’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of England eight days later.
A Freedom of Information request has now revealed the five-figure cost of their trip, which Mr Drakeford had previously justified as a “very special opportunity” to promote Wales.
Jane Dodds, the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, said: “What these Freedom of Information requests show is what we long suspected, human rights have taken a backseat in the Welsh government’s priorities during its engagements with Qatar in favour of investment deals.
“There is also a question over whether spending £13,000 of taxpayers’ money on a trip for two ministers to Qatar is good value for money, especially in a cost of living crisis.”
It was also claimed the Welsh Liberal Democrats had submitted a second Freedom of Information request which suggested the office had never been used to promote human rights in the country.
Ms Dodds called on Mr Drakeford to shut the office of the Welsh government in Qatar and said the Welsh Labour Party should donate £13,000 of its own funds to human rights charities.
Asked why he was not following the lead of Sir Keir Starmer, leader of his national party, in boycotting the tournament, Mr Drakeford said the arguments about why people had chosen not to come were “real and to be respected”.
“In the end, our conclusion was that people in Wales would not have wanted to see a seat for Wales left empty,” he told reporters in Doha.
“It really is a very special opportunity to promote Wales on the world stage.”
Mr Drakeford went on to point to millions of pounds that were invested by the Qataris in a new gas terminal in Wales, as well as a series of meetings he had held with other interested businessmen while out in Asia for the tournament.