There’s been another twist in the controversy swirling around Welsh Labour Government First Minister Carwyn Jones with the revelation that the controversial sacking of Communities Minister Carl Sargeant [ the event which triggered Sargeant’s suicide last month] was leaked in advance around Welsh Labour Party circles – long before Sargeant himself was told he was to be fired.
Penarth Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies has been continuing to apply pressure to beleaguered Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones both in the Assembly Chamber and in a series of written questions.
So far Mr Davies – who is leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly – has appeared less than convinced by the conflicting answers provided by Carwyn Jones. …And now former Labour Minister Leighton Andrews has sensationally revealed – in a blog post – that “a number of people outside government had been told of the sacking in advance “
Welsh Labour Government so-called “re-shuffles” [often a euphemism for sackings] are said to be normally conducted in total secrecy, but Mr Andrews alleges that the re-shuffle – in which Carl Sargeant was controversially fired – was different from the rest.
Inquiries made by Mr Andrews have revealed that before any public announcement – and before Carl Sargeant himself was told he was to lose his job – several people inside and outside the Welsh Labour Government already knew Mr Sargeant’s job was on the line :-
- A Welsh Labour MP had told another Welsh Labour MP that Mr Sargeant was to be fired, before the reshuffle was announced.
- A Labour AM is said to have later informed the Labour Assembly Group that he had received a text from “a reliable source” in advance of the re-shuffle saying that Mr Sargeant was to be sacked .
- Before Carl Sargeant himself knew he was to be fired, a journalist was sent a text message which confirmed that Sargeant was to lose his cabinet post.
Mr Andrews says “At the end of the day, information must have been leaked.”
The Welsh Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones has – after a prolonged delay – now told MediaWales that he has asked the Permanent Secretary to “look into these allegations.”
Carwyn Jones has also been attempting to field a series of awkward written questions tabled by Andrew RT Davies – [who is Conservative Leader in the Assembly and AM for South Wales Central, including Penarth] – and Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price.
Amongst the questions Mr Davies has posed is whether the First Minister can “clarify whether in October and/or November 2014 he became aware of allegations of behaviour, which could reasonably construed as bullying, intimidation or exclusion, within his own office?”
The First Minister has responded “I was not made aware of any such allegations.”
Mr Davies also asked Carwyn Jones when he first became aware of “allegations made by former Minister Leighton Andrews of incidents in 2014 of bullying, intimidation, deliberate undermining or other behaviour that could be construed as such within the Welsh Government?”
The answer Carwyn Jones has given is “November 2017.”