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Welsh Conservatives were aware of complaints against shadow minister – Tory source claims

21 May 2024 3 minute read
Laura Anne Jones MS

Emily Price

The Welsh Conservatives were aware of complaints made against a member of the Shadow Cabinet prior to her being subject to two separate probes, a party source has claimed.

Nation.Cymru revealed on Friday (May 17) that Shadow Culture Minister Laura Anne Jones was under investigation by the Senedd’s Standards Commissioner and South Wales Police for allegedly falsifying her expenses.

Officers were called in to investigate Ms Jones after messages came to light that appeared to show she had instructed one of her staff to claim mileage expenses for journeys she had not taken.

A senior Welsh Conservative source told Nation.Cymru that prior to police involvement, a complaint had been put in to the Senedd’s Standards Commissioner relating to a staffer working for Ms Jones who was dismissed after allegedly raising bullying allegations against another member of the Tories’ Senedd staff.

We were told that the Commissioner was forced to pause his probe when a message sent by Ms Jones came to light in which she instructed her staffer to falsify an expenses claim for mileage.

The source said: “Essentially she told her staffer to make it up.”

Complaints

Ms Jones has said she will “fully cooperate” with any investigations.

She has continued in her role as Shadow Culture Minister despite some concerns in the group that the Welsh Tory Leader has not yet withdrawn the whip.

The MS for South Wales East recently had her portfolio slimmed down after her shadow education role was handed to another shadow cabinet member during a Welsh Tory reshuffle.

Andrew RT Davies told BBC Politics he hadn’t received any official complaints about Ms Jones.

But a senior Tory source told us the Welsh Conservative group office “definitely” knew of allegations against her.

Evidence

Another party source described the allegations as “the worst kept secret on the Welsh Conservative corridor”.

Nation.Cymru has since been presented with evidence that Chief of Staff, Paul Smith knew of complaints against Ms Jones as far back as March.

We invited Andrew RT Davies and Paul Smith to comment but we did not receive a response.

In an earlier statement, Ms Jones said: “I would co-operate fully with any investigation into my activities as a Member of the Senedd, as would be expected of any member.

“The standards process is confidential, and I would expect others not to provide a running commentary, or they may risk jeopardising the integrity of that process.”

A South Wales Police spokesperson said: “South Wales Police has received information from the Senedd Commissioner for Standards which is currently under investigation.”


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
20 days ago

Oh look! Caught on camera. Two of the three Tories present at the anti Welsh rally outside Y Senedd last October with Y Ddraig Goch being held upside down as an insult. They may counter that it was done to show a sign of distress but firstly, the protesters were Tories and they were banging on about numerous issues including no to more Senedd members. Tories, no to preparation for independence and flag upside down. An anti Welsh rally!

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