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Senedd Committee ‘lost for words’ over Cabinet Secretary’s bizarre urinating horse story

26 Apr 2024 2 minute read
L: A horse – R: Housing Secretary Julie James

Emily Price

The Cabinet Secretary for Housing left a Senedd Committee in fits of giggles this week when she shared a bizarre anecdote about a urinating horse breaking a lift in a Swansea high rise.

Julie James was grilled by the Local Government and Housing Committee on Wednesday (April 26) for her views on the private rented sector in Wales.

But the session saw one committee member “lost for words” when the Housing Secretary regaled the room with a true story about a pet horse living in a flat that kept breaking the lift because its urine would leak into the mechanism.

The peculiar tale came in response to a question from Committee Member Jack Sargeant about pet friendly rented homes.

Ms James said she was interested in extending pet rights contracts for renters and those staying in temporary accommodation but that this could be particularly difficult in high rise buildings.

Reminiscing on her time working for the City and County of Swansea some years ago, she described being faced with a horse living in a tenants kitchen on the seventh floor.


Speaking to the Committee she said: “I shouldn’t share anecdotes with the committee, but, a long time ago, when I worked for the City and County of Swansea, I was asked to go with a tenant to see something that was happening in a high-rise flat in Swansea, because the lift kept breaking.

“We took an engineer with us, and the lift kept breaking because people on the seventh floor were keeping a horse in their kitchen, and this horse was relieving itself in the lift on the way down and it was breaking the mechanism.

“It was quite something to see this horse in this kitchen, I have to say. So, I do think you might have to have some controls around the suitability of the pet—not to say that most people would do that, but I thought I’d share that anecdote with you.”

Jack Sargeant along with Llanelli MS Lee Waters could be seen on Senedd TV cameras in fits of laughter whilst others in the room looked on stunned.

Replying to the Housing Secretary’s tale, Mr Sargeant said: “Well, Chair, I’m not often silent but the Minister has stunned me this morning.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago

What make of horse was it?

Art Byrant
Art Byrant
25 days ago

Horse Sh*t

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