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Second Tory MS under investigation by Senedd Standards Commissioner

22 May 2024 3 minute read
Shadow Minister for Transport -Natasha Asghar MS

Emily Price

A second member of the Welsh Conservative shadow cabinet is being investigated by the Senedd’s Standards Commissioner, Nation.Cymru can reveal.

The Senedd Commissioner for Standards Douglas Bain began a probe into Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar following complaints about her use of the word “blanket” when referring to Wales’ 20mph default speed limit.

Mr Bain is an independent person appointed by the Welsh Parliament to investigate complaints about the conduct of Members of the Senedd.

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

In a statement, Ms Asghar said: “I would absolutely cooperate fully with any investigation and as this is an ongoing matter it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”

In a later social media post responding to this story, she said: “I make no apology for standing up for constituents over this policy, which will harm our economy.”

Controversial policy

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.

Use of the word by the Welsh Conservative has been criticised because local authorities have the discretion to impose exemptions – therefore not all 30mph roads are now 20mph.

Several political opponents have accused Ms Asghar of spreading “misinformation” when it comes to her characterisation of the new default.

In January 2024, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives 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.

Following the conclusion of the report – the Tory Shadow Minister continued to use the word “blanket” to describe the 20mph policy in her speeches and press statements.

Jeered

In a final clash with former Deputy Minister Lee Waters in March, Ms Asghar was jeered by MSs in the Chamber for using the word “blanket” during a debate on Welsh Government transport policies.

During the exchange she said: “With all due respect, this was reported to the Standards Commissioner who actually said in his report, anyone who has a problem with the word blanket needs to tolerate it once and for all – there’s no hate included, tolerate it.”

Mr Waters responded saying: “Continually repeating misinformation, false information and lies” in the Chamber is something to be ashamed of.

Nation.Cymru’s revelation of the ongoing investigation by the Standards Commissioner came on the day the Welsh Conservatives took part in the long awaited record breaking anti-20mph Senedd petition debate.

Last week, the Senedd’s Llywydd Elin Jones warned Senedd Members not to use the word “blanket” when referring to the 20mph policy in the Chamber.

In a statement released by the Shadow Minister for Transport ahead of the debate, she did not use the word “blanket” and did not use it during her speech to the Senedd which she delivered remotely.

Ms Asghar joins her fellow Shadow Minister for Culture, Laura Anne Jones under the microscope of the Standards Commissioner.

Ms Jones is currently being investigated by both the Commissioner and South Wales Police for allegedly falsifying accounts.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
29 days ago

Captain Blanket should not have got away with it and neither should this or any minister in Y Senedd. It is a word used to deliberately mislead the public with blatant misinformation.

Jeff
Jeff
29 days ago

The head of that cabal should be up in front of the beak not a a wannabe London Mayor.
However, I suspect they did not come up with the idea, wonder who did. Tufton Street?

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
29 days ago

Bit no investigation of Vaughan Gething and the dodgy donation +.?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

Am I surprised? Not really. It’s a trait with most if not all Tories. They just can’t help themselves. Snout in the trough. I genuinely can’t wait until the 2026 Senedd Cymru elections when the likes of Natasha Asghar and Andrew RT Davies get their just deserts. #P45

Glen
Glen
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

With 32 extra seats and the new list system that’s never going to happen, in fact they’ve probably got the job for life, without ever actually winning an election.

Gaynor
Gaynor
29 days ago

The woman advanced by nepotism and cronyism? Quel suprise as they say in Newport

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
29 days ago

What a surprise. Her contributions in the Senedd are totally vacuous. Prime example of a turncoat chancer.

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
29 days ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Does poor utterances justify sanction by the unelected?

Sign 🪧 of the Times
Sign 🪧 of the Times
29 days ago

We need an investigation into the costs of 20 mph signs 🪧 being attacked by those who feel they had an open season by the political cover by those whom should know better in Cardiff Bay. If it had been Cymdeithas attacking English only parking 🅿️ signs – I just wonder what these “ U turners “ in Llandudno would be saying. Indeed one recently attacked Yes Cymru for putting stickers around while has never 👎🏼 urged these daubers to stop 🛑……. Double Standards from the U turn party …?

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
29 days ago

It is very dangerous when the words of politicians are policed by those who some may see as government stooges. Wake up pawb. I have no time for the blue Tories or Red, but policing their words through lawfare is now acceptable? Really?

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