PAUL Davies, the Conservative leader in the Welsh Parliament has resigned the leadership after being seen drinking with other politicians in the Senedd, four days into a Wales pub alcohol ban.
Mr Davies said: “I am truly sorry for my actions on the 8th and 9th December.
“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.”
Darren Millar, MS for Clwyd West, also announced he was stepping down from his front bench duties.
A third member of the Senedd, Labour AM Alun Davies, has also apologised and has been suspended by the Labour Party.
An investigation by the Senedd’s authorities found that four members were involved, however, the identity of the fourth Senedd member has not been revealed.
Paul Davies said:
“What we did was to have some alcohol with a meal we heated up in a microwave, which was a couple of glasses of wine on Tuesday and a beer on Wednesday. I broke no actual Covid-19 regulations.”
“Over the last couple of days, I have been speaking with colleagues in the Senedd and the wider Conservative Party.
“Whilst they have confirmed they do not wish to see me step down, I believe that my actions are becoming a distraction from holding this failing Welsh Labour-led Government to account.”
Glyn Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Party has indicated that the process to find a successor as the leader to Paul Davies would now get underway.
Commenting on the latest developments, William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire and former AM for Mid and West Wales said:
‘Paul Davies & Darren Millar have now done the correct thing in stepping down, to allow due process to take place, both within Cardiff Council and within the Senedd.
‘While they both need to reflect and learn from recent events, the Welsh Conservatives must now be given the opportunity to select an interim leader to take their party forward into the upcoming Senedd elections.
‘Schadenfreude is one of the unattractive features of our current politics and I want no part of it. I will simply work with my Welsh Liberal Democrat colleagues to hold Welsh and UK Government to account on management of the pandemic.
‘My own journey of Covid-19 illness and recovery is a reminder that we should unite to double down on the virus, support our NHS and other key workers and endeavour to do the right thing.’