Welsh Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones faced a tv news interview last night for the first time since the suicide last month of Welsh Government Communities Minister Carl Sargeant .
Meanwhile once again, on the floor of the Welsh Assembly, Penarth Conservative AM Andrew Davies continued to probe the allegations made by former Labour Minister Leighton Andrews and former Labour aide Stephen Jones of “bullying” within the Welsh Labour Government .
Last night Carwyn Jones was asked by BBC political correspondent Nick Servini whether he had considered resigning. Carwyn Jones said “No”.
On the sacking of Carl Sargeant over unproven – and now dropped – allegations of improper conduct with 3 women by Sargeant, Carwyn Jones went on to say “I had complaints. They were checked-out. What do you do? The choice is then you either ignore them…or you pass them on to the next stage of an investigation”.
Nick Servini then asked the First Minister if he had a “sense of guilt?” to which Carwyn Jones responded “Not guilt …Loss” . The full BBC interview can be seen on http://tinyurl.com/ycjdcg5q.
Afterwards Nick Servini sought the reaction of former Labour Minister Leighton Andrews on what Carwyn Jones had said .
Andrews’s one-word comment was “Pathetic.”
Meanwhile ITV Wales News reported that Carwyn Jones was involved in what it called “an extraordinary row” with Mr Andrews who – it reminded viewers – had “come forward to allege that Carl Sargeant was ‘persistently undermined’ over several years amid a ‘toxic’ backdrop of bullying and favouritism following his death”.
ITV News said “the First Minister denied that Leighton Andrews ever complained to him regarding allegations of bullying in 2014″ and quoted a comment from the First Minister saying “I had no allegations of bullying made to me in 2014, no. If he’s got any written formal complaint that he says he gave to me then fine but we’ve looked at our records and there are no records of any formal complaints and certainly he never made one to me.– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister”
ITV News said that Mr Andrews then “promptly tweeted” a rebuttal – insisting that he HAD made a complaint to the First Minister: –
One insider noted however the First Minister’s careful choice of phrase “written formal complaint”.
In the Assembly Chamber meanwhile Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies (South Wales Central including Penarth) was also asking First Minister Carwyn Jones for clarification: “Did Leighton Andrews make a complaint of any nature in 2014 about the conduct or behaviour of members of staff in the Welsh Government or your office?
The answer from the First Minister – which appears to contradict the Tweet from Leighton Andrews was “No”
Andrew R T Davies tried again – but again was stonewalled by the First Minister who said “I just answered your question. There were no allegations of bullying”
Andrew R T Davies – as perplexed as everyone else in the Chamber – then asked the First Minister to spell out exactly what WERE the issues that the First Minister had previously said he had taken action upon?
Carwyn Jones replied “Issues that did not involve bullying. I’ve said no allegation was made by Leighton Andrews to me in regard to bullying.”