Minister and Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies is sacked by Carwyn Jones

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

UPDATE 2.33pm: Carwyn Jones batted away suggestions that Alun Davies should stand down as an AM entirely during First Minister's Questions this afternoon.

“Its a breach of the ministerial code. The minister has lost his job as a result of it. It doesn’t mean he can’t carry on as an AM,” he said.

Welsh Lib Dem leader and a target of the CAP request Kirsty Williams asked if Mr Jones will be withdrawing the whip from Mr Davies. “No,” he said.

UPDATE 2.11pm: There were emotional and angry scenes in the Senedd after the First Minister attacked the leader of the opposition for not attending an event with the Prince of Wales - only for the leader of the opposition to reveal that his mother had suffered a stroke the night before.

Tory opposition leader Andrew RT Davies managed to extract an apology from the first minister Carwyn Jones during a heated and emotional First Ministers Questions.

But later Mr Jones said: "He's had an apology. I think an apology is due. Where was he last week when we all waited to meet the Prince of Wales?

"He did not turn up and did not give an explanation."

Andrew RT Davies, clearly angered by the comment, got up and shouted back that he had been ill and had given his apologies to the event organisers.

"I was also dealing with the stroke that my mother in law had just had the night before first minister. You might well want to consider your position," he said.

Under the noise of the heckling from the Senedd benches, with Rosemary Butler repeatedly calling for order, Carwyn Jones withdrew the remarks.

"I apologise for it.... I extend my condolences to the leader of the opposition," he said.

UPDATE 1.38pm: The post-Alun reshuffle has been announced, Edwina Hart will take over Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in addition to her existing responsibilities. Rebecca Evans AM will become Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

Newport AM John Griffiths is to take over responsibility for environment policy.

UPDATE 12.56pm:

Alun Davies has the support of the Blaenau Gwent Labour party, according to the deputy leader of Blaenau Gwent council Steve Thomas.

Mr Thomas said: “It’s disappointing news for Alun and indeed for Blaenau Gwent, however Alun has the support of the local party and I’m sure he will continue to do all that he can to represent the people of these Valleys with the same commitment that he has shown since becoming our AM.

“The recent situation with the Circuit of Wales is proof that he will always put the people of Blaenau Gwent first.”

UPDATE 12.40pm:

In his first comments Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies has told the Argus this morning that he remains "absolutely focused" on his constituency.

Mr Davies said: "I'm remaining absolutely focused on Blaenau Gwent. As I said when I was elected, Blaenau Gwent comes first, second and third."

Mr Davies is facing re-selection during 2014.

UPDATE 12.36pm:

Some of the senior Senedd targets of what has been dubbed a "smear campaign" by Alun Davies have reacted angrily this afternoon.

Kirsty Williams, Welsh Lib Dem leader, said: “The actions of Alun Davies as a minister are atrocious and completely unacceptable for anyone serving in public office. The fact that Alun Davies used his ministerial office to start a smear campaign against those that dared to hold him to account is disgraceful."

Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Tory leader, accused Mr Davies of trying to damage his family business, and drew parallels with the notorious activities of Damian McBride.

He said: "I am absolutly disgusted - this isn't about me, I'm part of a family farming business where my brother, my wife, my two young sons who are keen to come into that farming business, he was seeking to try and cause damage, maybe even destroy that business if he so chose by using privileged accessed information.

He added: "This falls back on the first minister's judgement. If he got rid of the minister last Tuesday as he had every opportunity to get rid of him, then on the Wednesday morning these emails were going out, that minister wouldn't have been in place to do this.

"Ultimately how can this man even continue to be a member of this institution when he is breached so much trust and confidence and sought to bring the worst excesses of Damian McBridge and the Gordon Brown era in Westminister into Welsh Politics?"

UPDATE 12.03pm:

The Argus understands that the first minister was extremely angry and disappointed with what has come to light.

A Welsh Government source said: "The first minister was both extremely angry and disappointed by what came to light and was firmly of the view that there was no room for this sort of politics in the Welsh Government."

The requests for information all related to Tory leader Andrew RT Davies, Tory AM Antionette Sandbach, Lib Dem AMs William Powell, Kirsty Williams and Plaid AM Llyr Gryffudd and how much they receive in EU farming payments, known as the CAP.

It is assumed that the information was to be used during a hearing in the Senedd.

He made the initial request the day after the First Minister announced the results of an inquiry which found Mr Davies broke the ministerial code over the Circuit of Wales, with Carwyn Jones not firing him.

Advice came back that that was inappropriate, but Mr Davies then made a further verbal request for the information, it is understood.

Emails show that Mr Davies' office got in touch with Mr Jones' office on July 4, expressing concerns that ministers must not use the Welsh Government's resources for party-political purposes.

A replacement for Mr Davies is expected later today.

11.43am:

ALUN Davies, the minister who was at the centre of a row over Ebbw Vale's Circuit of Wales racetrack has been sacked by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

In a statement, the First Minister said Alun Davies had been asked to "leave the government" after "a number of e-mails" showed he had asked "the civil service to give him private information about the financial interests of a number of Members of this Chamber."

The statement continued: "In recent days communications between the Minister for Natural and Resources and Food and civil servants in his division have been drawn to my attention. The emails indicate that the Minister asked the civil service to give him private information about the financial interests of a number of Members of this Chamber. These relate to CAP payments made to these individuals.

"I believe that these requests were poorly judged, inappropriate and the fact that they were made at all is unacceptable to me as First Minister. As a result, I have asked the Minister for Natural Resources and Food to leave the government.

"I made this decision with some regret and would like to record my appreciation for the contribution that Alun Davies has undoubtedly made to the work of the government during his time in office."

E-mail trail between Alun Davies and civil servant:

South Wales Argus:

Comments (19)

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12:04pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Aquarius says...

Mr Davies hasn't been making Carwyn look too good recently, so it probably wasn't going to take much for this course of action to be taken.

The wheels are starting to come off this administration. Along with most of their shine.
Mr Davies hasn't been making Carwyn look too good recently, so it probably wasn't going to take much for this course of action to be taken. The wheels are starting to come off this administration. Along with most of their shine. Aquarius
  • Score: 18

12:08pm Tue 8 Jul 14

cornucopia of crapitude says...

He should have been sacked over the Circuit of Wales breach.
He should have been sacked over the Circuit of Wales breach. cornucopia of crapitude
  • Score: 19

12:20pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Julesblaina1 says...

he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent.
he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent. Julesblaina1
  • Score: 15

12:20pm Tue 8 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

A short while ago Martin Shipton in the Western Mail was tipping him as the "next First Minister"! If he could just contain his arrogance, bordering on the offensive, in the meantime. Mmmmm, Good call Marty!
A short while ago Martin Shipton in the Western Mail was tipping him as the "next First Minister"! If he could just contain his arrogance, bordering on the offensive, in the meantime. Mmmmm, Good call Marty! KarloMarko
  • Score: 11

12:49pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

Carwyn seems to want it both ways. He has dismissed him as a Minister but seems to have allowed him to remain in the party. Why has he not kicked him out of the party.

The law needs to be changed in any case any MP or AM that commits a serious offence be that in law or in parliament should have to stand down and a bye election held

If the offense is serious enough for him to be dismissed as a minister it is serious enough I my vi to require him to stand down. At present it is all but impossible to get rid of a politician
Carwyn seems to want it both ways. He has dismissed him as a Minister but seems to have allowed him to remain in the party. Why has he not kicked him out of the party. The law needs to be changed in any case any MP or AM that commits a serious offence be that in law or in parliament should have to stand down and a bye election held If the offense is serious enough for him to be dismissed as a minister it is serious enough I my vi to require him to stand down. At present it is all but impossible to get rid of a politician Bobevans
  • Score: 10

1:20pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Julesblaina1 says...

This sums Alun Davies up to a T,
http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=4dTb62rcU
5c
This sums Alun Davies up to a T, http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=4dTb62rcU 5c Julesblaina1
  • Score: 2

1:26pm Tue 8 Jul 14

kez1968 says...

A dodgy elected official from bleanau gwent, how unusual...
A dodgy elected official from bleanau gwent, how unusual... kez1968
  • Score: 11

1:32pm Tue 8 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

He has resigned immediately to "spend more time with his ego". If he's showing up at the Plenary this afternoon he'd better watch out for Kirsty Williams...she's "mad as hell and aint gonna take it"! She can break a man's arm just like a swan.
He has resigned immediately to "spend more time with his ego". If he's showing up at the Plenary this afternoon he'd better watch out for Kirsty Williams...she's "mad as hell and aint gonna take it"! She can break a man's arm just like a swan. KarloMarko
  • Score: 14

2:06pm Tue 8 Jul 14

paddyparry says...

So he was accused of ignoring advice and breaking the Ministerial Code but we were told it was not a seriuos enough matter for him to resign or be sacked. A week later we find out he's done the same thing again but is sacked. What changed Carwyn?
So he was accused of ignoring advice and breaking the Ministerial Code but we were told it was not a seriuos enough matter for him to resign or be sacked. A week later we find out he's done the same thing again but is sacked. What changed Carwyn? paddyparry
  • Score: 8

2:10pm Tue 8 Jul 14

pbhj says...

I realise that the AM in question shouldn't use a priveleged position to get information that wouldn't otherwise be available. But the email quoted above says that:

>"the information is not technically agreed to be in the public domain" //

If the information is publicly available then I see no problem. If not then I see no problem with requesting it. The amounts of money paid to political active "gentleman farmers" seems pertinent to many things of genuine interest to the electorate.

The crux here is surely that farms are businesses and farmers shouldn't be able to hide behind legislation that seeks to protect the private matters of individuals, business activity should be open to scrutiny - the business activity of our elected representatives the moreso.
I realise that the AM in question shouldn't use a priveleged position to get information that wouldn't otherwise be available. But the email quoted above says that: >"the information is not technically agreed to be in the public domain" // If the information is publicly available then I see no problem. If not then I see no problem with requesting it. The amounts of money paid to political active "gentleman farmers" seems pertinent to many things of genuine interest to the electorate. The crux here is surely that farms are businesses and farmers shouldn't be able to hide behind legislation that seeks to protect the private matters of individuals, business activity should be open to scrutiny - the business activity of our elected representatives the moreso. pbhj
  • Score: -7

2:25pm Tue 8 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

A fair point but the crux of this, and the belated sacking, is that he was once AGAIN using ministerial position, access and muscle to influence, or seek to influence, events and individuals in direct contradiction to the agreed code. If he'd wanted to make a valid case for EU transparency of public funds then that is another issue. But that was NOT his motivation. His motivation was pure self survival. Even his officials choked on that.
A fair point but the crux of this, and the belated sacking, is that he was once AGAIN using ministerial position, access and muscle to influence, or seek to influence, events and individuals in direct contradiction to the agreed code. If he'd wanted to make a valid case for EU transparency of public funds then that is another issue. But that was NOT his motivation. His motivation was pure self survival. Even his officials choked on that. KarloMarko
  • Score: 9

4:28pm Tue 8 Jul 14

gingertom says...

Edwina hart taking on extra responsibilities she is useless at the job she has got already.

https://www.assembly
wales.org/epetition-
list-of-signatories.
htm?pet_id=1019
Edwina hart taking on extra responsibilities she is useless at the job she has got already. https://www.assembly wales.org/epetition- list-of-signatories. htm?pet_id=1019 gingertom
  • Score: 13

4:34pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Gatesy101 says...

They should get all the AM's in a room, bar the doors and throw a hand grenade in there and save the Welsh people a fortune!
They should get all the AM's in a room, bar the doors and throw a hand grenade in there and save the Welsh people a fortune! Gatesy101
  • Score: 10

5:05pm Tue 8 Jul 14

taffygwent says...

Best news I have read today. Even better news would have been he had been sacked as B /Gwent AM
Best news I have read today. Even better news would have been he had been sacked as B /Gwent AM taffygwent
  • Score: 10

5:18pm Tue 8 Jul 14

displayed says...

he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first."

"first second and third" to quote himself............
he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first." "first second and third" to quote himself............ displayed
  • Score: 12

6:22pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

'The wheels are starting to come off this administration. Along with most of their shine'

There was ever a shine? How did we all miss that?
'The wheels are starting to come off this administration. Along with most of their shine' There was ever a shine? How did we all miss that? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 13

7:41pm Tue 8 Jul 14

coalpicker says...

Julesblaina1 wrote:
he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent.
Has it occurred to the feeble minded that perhaps, just perhaps Alan Davies caught the scent of a faint odor which prompted him to ask questions ? As for the race track issue surely asking the AM to fall on his sword especially for someone living in Blaenau Gwent is a call to far ,What a difference that enterprise would make for the area, does anyone with a brain think for one moment that other AM,s were not competing ,wake up
Alan Davies is the sort of man the area has desperately needed for a very long time . Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature
of men like Alan Davies ,for to long yes men have ruled the roost .
[quote][p][bold]Julesblaina1[/bold] wrote: he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent.[/p][/quote]Has it occurred to the feeble minded that perhaps, just perhaps Alan Davies caught the scent of a faint odor which prompted him to ask questions ? As for the race track issue surely asking the AM to fall on his sword especially for someone living in Blaenau Gwent is a call to far ,What a difference that enterprise would make for the area, does anyone with a brain think for one moment that other AM,s were not competing ,wake up Alan Davies is the sort of man the area has desperately needed for a very long time . Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature of men like Alan Davies ,for to long yes men have ruled the roost . coalpicker
  • Score: -13

10:58pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

coalpicker wrote:
Julesblaina1 wrote:
he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent.
Has it occurred to the feeble minded that perhaps, just perhaps Alan Davies caught the scent of a faint odor which prompted him to ask questions ? As for the race track issue surely asking the AM to fall on his sword especially for someone living in Blaenau Gwent is a call to far ,What a difference that enterprise would make for the area, does anyone with a brain think for one moment that other AM,s were not competing ,wake up
Alan Davies is the sort of man the area has desperately needed for a very long time . Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature
of men like Alan Davies ,for to long yes men have ruled the roost .
'Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature of men like Alan ..'

Not the best mix of words in that sentence may I say.
[quote][p][bold]coalpicker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Julesblaina1[/bold] wrote: he should be sacked as the Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent as well, he has made our borough a laughing stock and only puts himself first. Time for a new person to take over, Fall on your sword Mr Davies for the sake of Blaenau Gwent.[/p][/quote]Has it occurred to the feeble minded that perhaps, just perhaps Alan Davies caught the scent of a faint odor which prompted him to ask questions ? As for the race track issue surely asking the AM to fall on his sword especially for someone living in Blaenau Gwent is a call to far ,What a difference that enterprise would make for the area, does anyone with a brain think for one moment that other AM,s were not competing ,wake up Alan Davies is the sort of man the area has desperately needed for a very long time . Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature of men like Alan Davies ,for to long yes men have ruled the roost .[/p][/quote]'Currently the scandal at Westminster regarding pedophilia is an example of why the country needs the thrusting nature of men like Alan ..' Not the best mix of words in that sentence may I say. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 7

9:33am Wed 9 Jul 14

Crossbenchtory says...

Let us, for a moment, look at what this individual has done.

He instructed publicly funded Civil Service officials to find, and supply to him, confidential financial information about his political rivals so that he could use it for his own political gain.

He was informed that this could not be done as it breached the Ministerial Code which clearly states that a minister can not use WAG resources for party political gain.

He then insisted that his officials find this information and supply it to him for him to use for his own party political purposes, no doubt as revenge for the calls for him to resign over the Circuit of Wales breach.

There is a word, in the English language, to describe this type of behaviour and that word is "CORRUPTION"!!

There should be a full police investigation of this matter, which should then be handed to the CPS who should then prosecute this individual for Corruption (or at the very least Misconduct) in Public Office.

If this does not happen then the Assembly, and Wales, will become an even bigger laughing stock than it already is with an enhanced reputation as a corrupt body worthy of any socialist banana republic.
Let us, for a moment, look at what this individual has done. He instructed publicly funded Civil Service officials to find, and supply to him, confidential financial information about his political rivals so that he could use it for his own political gain. He was informed that this could not be done as it breached the Ministerial Code which clearly states that a minister can not use WAG resources for party political gain. He then insisted that his officials find this information and supply it to him for him to use for his own party political purposes, no doubt as revenge for the calls for him to resign over the Circuit of Wales breach. There is a word, in the English language, to describe this type of behaviour and that word is "CORRUPTION"!! There should be a full police investigation of this matter, which should then be handed to the CPS who should then prosecute this individual for Corruption (or at the very least Misconduct) in Public Office. If this does not happen then the Assembly, and Wales, will become an even bigger laughing stock than it already is with an enhanced reputation as a corrupt body worthy of any socialist banana republic. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 0
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