Alun Cairns resigns as Welsh Secretary but intends to stand in the Vale of Glamorgan

The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns. Picture by Number 10 (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Alun Cairns has resigned as Welsh Secretary, minutes before the Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the Conservatives’ election campaign.

However, Alun Cairns said he intended to remain as the candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan at the General Election on 12 December.

He had been Welsh Secretary since 2016 and had served three prime ministers in the role.

His resignation came after a rape victim called on a UK cabinet minister to quit after his former aide “sabotaged” her trial.

Ross England had made claims about the victim’s sexual history in an April 2018 trial which led to its collapse.

Alun Cairns denied any knowledge of the matter but the BBC Wales said it had seen an email sent to him in August 2018 mentioning the matter.

In a message to the Prime Minister, he said that he would cooperate with an investigation under the Ministerial Code and was “confident of being cleared of any wrongdoing”.

“You will be aware of allegations relating to the actions of a Party employee and candidate for the Welsh Assembly elections in the Vale of Glamorgan,” he wrote.

“This is a very sensitive matter, and in light of continued speculation, I write to tender my resignation as the Secretary of State for Wales.

“I will continue to work to support your vision and ambitions for the country and am grateful for the honour of serving in your Cabinet.”

Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies AM said that resigning was the right decision.

“I am sorry to see Alun resign today as the Secretary of State for Wales however, under the circumstances this was the right decision for him,” he said.

“Alun has rightly stated that he will cooperate fully with any investigations.

“I would like to thank Alun for his service to Wales as our Secretary of State where he brought an end to the Severn Bridge Tolls which will leave a lasting legacy on the Welsh economy.”

 

‘Long service’

In his response, Mr Johnson said he was extremely grateful for all the work Alun Cairns had done in the role as Secretary of State since March 2016.

“In particular, I would like to put on record my gratitude for all the support you have given to this government in ensuring we honour the commitment to the people that we leave the European Union,” he said.

“Given your long service as Secretary of State, you can be proud of your record of delivery for the people of Wales, in particular in ensuring the abolition of tolls on the Severn bridges.”

Reacting to Alun Cairns’ resignation, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said he should also withdraw from the Vale of Glamorgan election.

“I hope that Alun Cairns’ resignation as Secretary of State proves to be some solace to the woman at the centre of this case, who still has received no apology from the Conservative party,” she said.

“Mr Cairns’ conduct proved unquestionably that he is not fit to hold ministerial office. You simply cannot be complicit in the attempted cover up of sabotaging a rape trial and hope to get away with it.

“Such conduct is neither befitting of a government minister, nor of a member of parliament. Mr Cairns should do the honourable thing and withdraw from the election – and if he doesn’t, the Conservative party should insist he withdraws.”

Welsh Labour also called on Alun Cairns to step down as a candidate.

“Alun Cairns stepping down as Secretary of State is far from the end of the matter, and is a shoddy halfway house that will fool nobody,” Christina Rees, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales said.

“He has still not explained his behaviour and still not addressed the grave issues raised by the leaked emails yesterday. Worse still, neither he nor any senior Welsh Tory have apologised to one person who most deserves it – the victim herself.

“He should do the right thing – apologise, and step down as a candidate.”

 

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Dafydd Huw ReesLinda GriffithsRhosdduKKGwylon Phillips Recent comment authors
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A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg
Guest
A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg

It is 1600 years since Rome left as the barbarian hordes came from the east.

Alun Cairns resigns not long before the turning the of the tide.

Penderyn
Guest
Penderyn

Barbaric just means non roman behaviour and culture
Rome was brutal to the britons, mass rapes and a genocide of the celtic elders is not a good counter metaphor to this rape applogist story imo

Stuart Stanton
Guest
Stuart Stanton

Tony Benn’s great comment was that : It is a choice between socialism and barbarism. I know which one I shall always choose: (see this at the very end of the ‘Will and Testament’ film. – not shown by any main TV channel as yet)

Paul James
Guest
Paul James

That is sad he is a really good man I have met him at a lot of events in Barry and the Vale. A really decent man. Politics and media are a dirty mix.

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

So, you’re just going to ignore that he’s blatantly lied, he’s scum and the only thing you can do with scum is clean it up. He should be far away from politics as much as possible.

Penderyn
Guest
Penderyn

He spent our taxpayers money on ego signs for Prince Charles and defended someone blaming the rape victim for the rape

pete
Guest
pete

I have met him he wasn’t up himself like so many MP’s but I don’t think you’ll find any sense on this ”welsh news” site its occupied by extreme nationalists it should come with a warning.

Dafydd Huw Rees
Guest
Dafydd Huw Rees

“Extreme nationalist” = “someone who thinks sabotaging a rape trial is a bad thing,” Pete?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Whilst your loyalty to someone you think is a good and decent man is commendable, I just can’t see it myself. He seems to have ignored his aide’s sabotage of a rape trial and even helped him become a candidate for the Assembly Government. It wasn’t a charge of doing 85mph on the M4 or being caught with some ‘illegal’ plants growing in the attic. It was a rape trial. Any minister who can’t see the significance of such a crime really isn’t fit for office, whatever party they belong to. I think sometimes political ambition clouds people’s judgement so… Read more »

Gwylon Phillips
Guest
Gwylon Phillips

If he is a decent man (your words), he should withdraw as a candidate in the election. That is what a man of honour should do.

Gareth Thomas
Guest
Gareth Thomas

A man who has set new low standards in servile grovelling A remarkable achievement given the record of some of his predecessors. Do we need a Secretary of State for Wales any more? Didn’t this role become redundant when the Senedd was established?

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

Yes mate, you’re exactly right!

Gillian Jones
Guest
Gillian Jones

Thank goodness the quisling has gone. I thought he could n’t get any lower than his bowing to the queen of England but he has.

Chris J Priest
Guest
Chris J Priest

Wait till the next one comes. English MP again?

John
Guest
John

That’s a result then. He named the Severn Crossing in the face of fierce opposition and was no friend to the Welsh language….

KK
Guest
KK

A vile odious individual who showed complete deference to his imperial masters and utter contempt towards the people of Wales. His achievements included : Scrapping the Swansea Tidal Lagoon Scrapping electrification of the railway network in wales Renaming a bridge without any consultation with the people in order to not only impose further entitlement on the people of Wales but also for self interest Removing the bridge tolls. The resultant social legacy now is that people in Newport. Gwent and the Gwent valleys are now being priced out of their own communities. No inward investment other than property speculators. Plus,… Read more »

Penderyn
Guest
Penderyn

He replaced Welsh branding with uk branding in builth wells welsh show

pete
Guest
pete

And Newport people can afford to take jobs in Bristol…..bigot

pete
Guest
pete

Neither of the bridges are welsh, the old Severn bridge is entirely with Gloucestershire and the Prince of wales bridge lands in Monmouthshire

KK
Guest
KK

Cmon Pete – you can do better than that. For someone who spends his time living in Wales and belittling the people he lives amongst I am most disappointed.

How is Aberystwyth?

pete
Guest
pete

This is supposed to be a news website for the people of wales but in reality its an extreme anti British welsh nationalist echo chamber with the same few people making comments.

Robert Tyler
Guest
Robert Tyler

Well ffyc off then, pete

pete
Guest
pete

Thus making my point for me with your comment

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

It may be wishful thinking, but my guess is we’ve seen the last of him as a player in Welsh politics, and ‘d be surprised if the Welsh Conservatives would now risk having him as a Senedd candidate following this cover-up.

His legacy, as KK suggests, is one of huge damage to his own country in the hope of personal preferment. The very role of Welsh Secretary needs to either undergo substantial review and redefining, or be abolished entirely. Following his disastrous period in office, either result might be regarded as Cairns’s one positive contribution to Wales.

Linda Griffiths
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Linda Griffiths

Visited London in March this year, on the weekend of St. Davids Day. We saw a lovely Happy St. Davids Day message on the BT tower, however when we walked past the Welsh Office in Whitehall we were annoyed to see nothing on the building such as the dragon, daffodils, leaks or anything to celebrate our Patron Saint. I went inside to complain and was told there is a Welsh flag on the roof . I told the gentleman that the Welsh flag is always on the roof and asked him to convey my disgust to Mr Cairns, that our… Read more »