PUB landlords in Gwent have reacted with anger to the revelation that a group of politicians drank alcohol together in the Senedd - just four days after pubs in Wales were banned from selling booze.

An investigation by the Senedd Commission found there had been a possible breach of coronavirus regulations by a group of politicians in the Senedd on December 8 and 9, and the matter is now being reviewed by Cardiff Council to decide whether those involved will be fined.

The group included then-leader of the Welsh Conservatives Paul Davies – who resigned on Saturday over the allegations – as well as Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies, who has been suspended from the Labour group in the Senedd.

Also involved was Conservative MS Darren Millar – who also resigned from his front bench position on Saturday - and Conservative chief of staff Paul Smith.

Monmouth’s Conservative MS Nick Ramsay has denied allegations that he was part of the gathering on December 8, saying he was in the tearoom in the Senedd at the time but was sitting alone.

Landlord of the Rock and Fountain in Penhow, and the George Hotel and the White Lion in Chepstow, Mark Duthie, says he cannot understand suggestions that those involved had not broken coronavirus regulations.

“If a customer came in at that time [December 8] and we gave them food and a drink, we’d have been prosecuted,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have minded as much if all this was new, but we’ve had restrictions going on for almost a year. There doesn’t seem to be an excuse.”

At the time – as is still the case – no hospitality premises in Wales could sell alcohol, and no-one could drink alcohol in a hospitality premises.

Giles Darby, who owns a range of pubs across south Wales – including the Three Tuns in Chepstow, said: “It’s just embarrassing, but are we surprised?

“Everybody I know in this industry is doing their absolute best to stick to these rules, our trade is decimated, and then you see that. It’s no wonder politicians have got a bad reputation."


Amy McCann, who is the landlady at McCann’s Rock n’ Ale Bar on Newport’s High Street, added: “I’m fuming over it to be honest. They should have followed their own rules.

“It’s ‘do as I say not as I do’ again. It’s a massive kick in the teeth.”

In a statement announcing his resignation as group leader on Saturday, Paul Davies said: “I am truly sorry for my actions on December 8 and 9. They have damaged the trust and respect that I have built up over 14 years in the Welsh Parliament with my colleagues and the wider Conservative Party but more importantly with the people of Wales."

A statement by the Senedd Commission issued last week stated four elected members were involved in the incident - but it remains unclear who the fourth was.