ARGUS COMMENT: Is this double standards from the First Minister?
Updated 10:41am Wednesday 2nd July 2014 in News
THE decision by First Minister Carwyn Jones to take no further action after one of his ministers, Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies, broke the National Assembly's ministerial code raises more questions than it answers.
Above all, Mr Jones stands accused of double standards for standing by Mr Davies despite his former education minister Leighton Andrews resigning in the wake of a similar offence.
Mr Jones says the two cases are totally different but many people will be puzzled by his decision.
Mr Andrews quit last year after breaking the ministerial code by campaigning to save a school in his constituency from closure against his own government's policy.
Mr Jones accepted his resignation and said this: "I recognise very well that there is sometimes tension between the role of a government minister and the demands of a constituency assembly member. The ministerial code aims to define the boundaries between the two roles and, on this occasion, I believe those roles were confused."
Natural resources minister Mr Davies, meanwhile, said yesterday he "did not exercise sufficient care to maintain a clear perception of false separation of my ministerial role and my role as a constituency Assembly member" when he lobbied Natural Resources Wales to back the planned Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale.
Perhaps we are cynical, but then only difference we can see between the two offences is Mr Davies did not embarrass his party by going against its policies.