Support our Nation today - please donate here
Feature

Three Welsh Tory Senedd members now under investigation

26 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Left: Natasha Asghar C: Laura Anne Jones R: Russell George

Emily Price

Three Welsh Conservative Senedd members are now under some form of investigation for their conduct – but who are they and what are they supposed to have done wrong?

On Tuesday (June 25), it was revealed that Tory Russell George is facing a probe over alleged betting on the date of the general election.

The scandal has dominated the Conservatives’ campaign for the past two weeks, with at least five Tories now being investigated by the Gambling Commission for wagers on the timing of the July 4 poll.

Mr George represents Montgomeryshire in the Senedd – the same area as Tory candidate Craig Williams who has had party support withdrawn as he faces similar allegations.

In a statement, Mr George said it was “the Gambling Commission, not the media” that has the responsibility and powers to properly probe the matter, and that he would not be commenting further.

A Tweet written by the Tory MS in 2015 resurfaced on social media on Tuesday evening in which he described gambling as, “the sure way of getting nothing from something”.

Andrew RT Davies confirmed the Shadow Minister for Mid Wales will step back from the shadow cabinet whilst the inquiry is carried out.

Broadly, there is nothing wrong a politician placing bets on the date of the election – but there is an issue if they did this when they already knew what that date would be.

This is because it is potentially a criminal offence to place a bet on something when you already know the outcome, based on information that is not in the public domain.

The Welsh Conservative leader says all other members of his group in the Senedd have confirmed that they haven’t placed any bets on the election.

Police

Mr George is not the first MS Andrew RT Davies has had to answer for in recent weeks.

The Shadow Culture Minister Laura Anne Jones is also facing an investigation by the Standards Commissioner Douglas Bain and South Wales Police over allegations of falsifying expenses.

Messages have been turned over to officers that appear to show Ms Jones instructing one of her staff to claim mileage for journeys she had not taken.

The Standards Commissioner is an independent person appointed by the Welsh Parliament to investigate complaints about the conduct of MSs.

The process is highly confidential with no details made public until the Commissioner has reached a conclusion.

Mr Bain is understood to have paused his probe whilst South Wales Police continue their inquiries.

False accounting is a criminal office regardless of how much money is involved.

Further messages obtained by Nation.Cymru revealed a toxic working atmosphere within Ms Jones office with disparaging comments about other party members and jokes about an MS’s dead father.

Ms Jones has been stripped of her spokesperson job by her party’s leader pending the conclusion of the probe.

She says she will “cooperate fully with any investigation” into her activities.

‘Blanket’

Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar is also currently subject to an inquiry by the Standards Commissioner.

Douglas Bain began a probe into Ms Asghar following complaints about her language around Wales’ 20mph default speed limit.

The Tory MS has been at the forefront of calls for the controversial speed limit to be axed and has regularly described it as a “blanket” policy.

Several political opponents have accused Ms Asghar of spreading misinformation about the new default.

She has so far kept her position in the shadow cabinet and says she makes “no apology for standing up for constituents” over the policy.

The Tory MS has not used the word “blanket” to describe the default since the Commissioner’s inquiry began.

She says she will “absolutely cooperate fully” with the investigation.

In January 2024, Andrew RT Davies was cleared of breaching the Senedd’s rules for describing the 20mph default as a “blanket” policy.

The Commissioner concluded that although use of the word was “imprecise and inaccurate” – it was not synonymous with being untruthful.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tomi Benn
Tomi Benn
18 days ago

Natasha Asghar is at the head of the war against pedestrians.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
18 days ago

Corruption and tories go hand in hand, an absolute certainty like death and taxes!

Lewis
Lewis
18 days ago

Russell George was the Shadow Minister for Mid Wales before his suspension, not Shadow Health Minister. Sam Rowlands has filled the health role for just over a month.

Nia James
Nia James
18 days ago

The inner workings and actions of the Tory Party are finally revealing themselves.

Rob
Rob
18 days ago

How anyone can vote for the Tories is beyond me, this behaviour is their MO yet people ignore it and still support them, bizarre

Jugo
Jugo
18 days ago

Incompetent imperialists

GaryCymru
GaryCymru
17 days ago

Nation Cymru, why do you refer to them as “welsh” Tories?
Are the individuals themselves Welsh, or is there a different political party with its company registered in Wales?
There is absolutely nothing “Welsh” about people who would remove our democracy, routinely cover up awful sexual abuse within their party, steal billions from the poor to ensure their rich freinds are looked after, continue the absolutely ridiculous notion of a Royal Family or steal a countries resources for profit.
Please stop putting Welsh anywhere near that appalling cesspit of the worst of humanity.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.