Former Tory candidate ‘sickened’ by Welsh Conservative Chair interview
A former Tory candidate has said he was sickened by an interview with Lord Byron Davies of Gower, Chair of the Welsh Conservatives, on BBC Radio Wales.
Byron Davies, a former senior detective at the Met, declined an opportunity to apologise to the victim of the rape at the centre of a controversy over a collapsed trial which caused the resignation of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns yesterday.
Asked by the BBC presenter whether he should apologise to the victim, Byron Davies said said: “There will be an apology if I find that one should be forthcoming. At the moment I deeply regret that this matter has arisen, and that the whole trial had to take place a second time.
“But in fairness, it’s not going to be a trial by media. It will be an investigation on the part of the Conservative Party and if they find that we do have to apologise, then we will apologise.”
Asked if he wanted to say anything to the victim, he responded:
“I’ve spent 32 years of my life investigating rapes. Many, many, many rapes. And I’m more than aware of how a victim should be treated. And as I say I’m very, very sorry that this has happened to her.
“There’s nothing I can do about it, it all happened before I became Chairman of the party. And I deeply regret it, and I will deal with it very sympathetically.”
He reiterated that the first he had heard about the trial was when the BBC revealed the details last week.
Former Tory candidate Luke Evetts said the interview had made him “feel sick to the pit of my stomach”.
“My heart goes out to the victim who has been put through hell and now hears this,” he tweeted.
‘Not a priority’
The rape victim has now called for Alun Cairns to drop out of the election after he endorsed a fellow colleague who “sabotaged” her attacker’s trial.
Alun Cairns resigned as Welsh secretary yesterday after being accused of lying over what he knew about his campaign manager causing the collapse of the case.
The Tory candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan had endorsed Ross England as a Welsh Assembly candidate after Ross England had given evidence which the judge had made clear was inadmissible.
Mr Cairns denied knowing that Mr England had caused the collapse of the trial in April 2018.
The rape victim told the Times that the minister had treated her with “utter disrespect” and should not fight the election.
“For him to endorse somebody who did that […] just shows his utter disrespect,” she said.
“I really don’t see how he could possibly ask people to vote for him. If you are a woman, how could you say that you would want him to be an MP?”