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Labour calls for investigation into alleged ministerial code breach by David TC Davies

13 May 2024 3 minute read
David TC Davies during Wales Office Questions

A senior Labour politician has written to civil servants demanding a formal investigation into accusations that David TC Davies has breached the ministerial code.

The Welsh Secretary posted a short film on X, formerly Twitter, last week, attacking Labour’s plans to expand the size of the Welsh Parliament.

But Labour opponents say Mr Davies was recording in his government office, in contravention of the ministerial code, which says they “should not generally be used for party or constituency activities”.

Jo Stevens, Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary, has now written to the director of the Welsh Office – the civil servant responsible for his office – to ask them to establish whether a breach has occurred and to investigate how it happened.

Explicitly party-political content

In her letter, she said: “The Welsh Secretary posted on the social media site X a video filmed in his private office, which contained explicitly party-political content, criticising the ‘Welsh Labour Government’ for its proposals on Senedd reform, and endorsing the opposition to those proposals from the “Welsh Conservative Group”.

“He closed with the line: “I know which side I’m on, I wonder what Welsh Labour are going to do today.”

She added: “In your capacity as the director of the Secretary of State’s Office, can I ask you to establish whether a breach of the Ministerial Code took place in this instance, and if so, what action will be taken to investigate how that happened, to ensure that it never happens again, and to issue a formal apology from the Secretary of State.”

Mr Davies has been contacted for comment.

Security reasons

A UK Government source said: “A 30-second video Was recorded inside for security reasons.”

It is understood there are concerns relating to the behaviour of Steve Bray, the anti-Brexit campaigner who has targetted Mr Davies for attention in and around Whitehall.

Because of this, Mr Davies will not be interviewed on Palace Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament, where ministers and MPs are often spoken to for TV.

Also, a UK Government source pointed out that the Ministerial Code says government premises should not “generally” be used for party activities rather than not in any circumstances.

In 2023, MP Lee Anderson was rebuked for using a parliamentary rooftop to film a promotion video for his £100,000-a-year GB News show.

The Serjeant at Arms, who is responsible for upholding order in the Commons, contacted Mr Anderson, who was the Conservative Party deputy chairman at the time but now sits as Reform UK MP, over his Twitter clip to remind him of the rules.

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9 days ago

Rubbish from Labour again they are twisting the wording in the rules.
it can be used but not on a usual basis.
The wording is “should not generally be used for party or constituency activities”. So the odd occasion is fine

Last edited 9 days ago by Welshman28
Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
9 days ago

This seems a bit nitpicking as the subject is in the public interest and he is entitled to express an opinion about a political or administrative point. Had he been filming for personal purposes like a business he runs it would be different. The Welsh Senedd is not being particularly well served by its Labour government at present with a leader and First Minister who us to say the least controversial and with proposals to increase the membership of the Senedd at great cost when resources might be better spent on education and health. It looks to me like a… Read more »

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
9 days ago

You do remember that during this same period where “resources might be better spent on education and health” the Conservative UK government have increased the size of the commons by 50MPs by cancelling a cut in the number of MPs to 600.
They have created 50 more MPs without a mention of the costs.

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