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Sun story wrong says Senedd standards commissioner as he clears members who drank alcohol during lockdown

04 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Alun Davies, Paul Davies n Darren Millar.

Four Senedd members who drank wine in a tearoom during lockdown during a Wales-wide alcohol ban did not break any rules, and reporting in the Sun was incorrect, an independent report has found.

The Sun had claimed that the politicians involved were “legless,” had ignored social distancing and had been asked to leave by security staff at 2am. The Sun later amended its article.

The Senedd’s standards commissioner, Douglas Bain, found the event to have been a rather more staid affair, saying that reports that the politicians were “loud and raucous” were made “without any factual foundation”.

“Had the conduct of the Members been as alleged by the Sun I would have had no hesitation in finding that they had breached the Principle,” he said.

“Whilst some have been critical of the conduct of the Members I cannot be satisfied, having considered all the circumstances in context, that any of them contravened the Integrity Principle of the Code of Conduct or any other relevant provision on 8 or 9 December 2020.”

‘Grave matter’

Paul Davies, Darren Millar, Nick Ramsay and Alun Davies were investigated by the standards commissioner who found that they were unaware the rules meant they were not allowed to be served in the Senedd.

Paul Davies resigned as Welsh Conservative Senedd leader following the controversy that took place while the Welsh Government ha banned alcohol in pubs and restaurants in late 2020.

The commissioner said that while the regulations actually meant that it “may” have become unlawful for alcohol to have been sold but “it did not become unlawful to consume alcohol there”.

The commissioner concluded: “Whether or not conduct breaches the Integrity Principle is subjective and a matter on which individuals considering the same facts may genuinely reach different conclusions.

“Acting in a manner that will tend to undermine the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the Senedd or which would tend to bring the institution or its Members generally into disrepute is a very grave matter.

“The fact that what the Members did in the Tea Room was legal and that they were unaware that as a result of the new regulations the supplying to them of alcohol might be illegal, whilst highly relevant, is not conclusive.

“In deciding whether conduct is so bad that it can properly be said to breach the Principle it is necessary to consider the conduct in context and especially the restrictions that had been imposed on all people in Wales due to the pandemic.”


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Grayham Jones
5 months ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 vote Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Pardon me for my cheek GJ but just ‘Vote Plaid Cymru’ could be our ‘three word slogan’ for the next few weeks…

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

Whitewashing such activity doesn’t add to the credibility of Y Senedd. Small group taking, if not guzzling, wine was not in the spirit of the edicts of the time.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Asking for trouble again hd15…

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Not much of that around here.. trouble, that is. I think it’s a shame that those 4 boyos, who should have known better, didn’t get some sort of slap especially as Senedd and its preceding Assembly were quick to yellow card likes of Leanne Wood and Neil McEvoy just for challenging others “over vigorously”

Glen
Glen
5 months ago

So what was the difference here to what was going on at Downing St.?

Would the standards commissioner have come to the same conclusion if it had been Neil McAvoy drinking?

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Glen

My point exactly. McEvoy only had to enter the chamber and some wuss would be calling a motion to chuck him out. We live in dark dishonest times and it would be wrong of us to think that all the mischief is located in London. We have a number of people in Cardiff Bay who are deviant and these 4 wine drinkers have revealed their contempt for the rest of us.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
5 months ago

The Welsh Government should establish an independent fact-checker agency to monitor and correct the torrent of fake news about Wales emanation from the mainstream (i.e. London-based) media organs.

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