Sacked minister, Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies says sorry for his ‘error’

South Wales Argus: SACKED: Alun Davies AM SACKED: Alun Davies AM

THE AM for Blaenau Gwent has apologised for the information requests that got him fired by the first minister – saying it was an error.

There was support for Alun Davies in the constituency yesterday, and the leader of Blaenau Gwent council said there was no reason not to back his re-selection.

Mr Davies wrote to the five AMs who were the targets of his request, saying it was an “error” on his part and that he regretted his actions.

“The purpose of my request was simply to provide background information and I can offer my absolute assurance that at no time did I intend to use this information neither for political gain nor for public use,” he added.

Mr Davies was fired as natural resources minister after an email emerged showing he had asked for information on EU farming payments to five AMs.

The email was sent a day after he was found to have broken the ministerial code over lobbying Natural Resources Wales in favour of the £280million Circuit of Wales project.

Alun Davies is facing re-selection later this year – the Argus asked Hedley McCarthy, Labour leader of Blaenau Gwent council, whether he would support him in that process.

He said: “There’s no reason not to. As long as he carried out his constituency work, that’s what the constituency will be interested in.”

The councillor added: “I’m not hearing any criticism of him on the ground at the moment.”

One local voice in support over the Circuit of Wales is The Rev Geoff Waggett, vicar of Christchurch in Ebbw Vale, who told the Argus he backs the AM where “he has put this electorate first”.

The supporter of the Circuit of Wales project said he didn’t think Mr Davies did anything wrong when he got in touch with Natural Resources Wales over the scheme.

“I think he put his constituents first which is the right thing to do,” he said.

One man from Ebbw Vale wrote to the First Minister last week to express his support for Alun Davies over the Circuit of Wales row, saying he was dismayed that he was “rebuked” over it.

Ian James, of Ebbw Vale, wrote: “The Circuit of Wales represents a life line for this community... The negative voices that are heard, from outside of Blaenau Gwent and Wales in most cases, are well funded in their lobbying for self interest or NIMBYism.”

A debate took place in the Senedd Wednesday evening, led by the Welsh Tories, calling for an independent adjudicator for the ministerial code. First Minister Carwyn Jones said there was scope for examining the current system.

The Argus asked to speak to the Blaenau Gwent AM yesterday but was told he “wasn’t doing media interviews” yesterday.

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