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Carwyn Jones refers himself to an independent inquiry over claims he broke the ministerial code

First Minister Carwyn Jones has referred himself to an independent inquiry over claims he breached the ministerial code

The move comes after claims the First Minister misled the Assembly over allegations of bullying within Welsh Government.

‘Until now there there has been no way for any independent assessment of significant concerns raised in relation to the First Minister’s adherence to the Ministerial Code apart from the Assembly’s own scrutiny and standards arrangements and the normal electoral process.’ A statement says.

The bullying claims emerged following the death of Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant.

Former minister Leighton Andrews claimed the atmosphere within the government was “toxic” with deliberate personal undermining of ministers on occasions.

Mr Andrews reacted to the news Mr Jones has triggered an independent inquiry tweeting; “I welcome this. I will be ready to give evidence to the independent advisor on the complaint I made in 2014 and how this was handled.”

Carwyn Jones told AMs this week he had never dealt with any “specific accusation” of bullying within the Welsh Government though he had dealt with complaints of people feeling “more favoured” than others.

In a statement released today the First Minister said;

“I have listened to those who have called for an independent referral process to be available in circumstances where it is felt the First Minister requires a source of external and independent advice.

As such, the ministerial code has been amended to allow for such referrals to be made to an Independent Adviser where he deems it necessary.”

“Over the coming weeks, a panel of several suitably qualified and experienced Advisers will be appointed to undertake this work individually or collectively.

I have agreed with James Hamilton, a current Independent advisor to the Scottish Government, to accept an immediate referral from me in relation to allegations made in the last two week that i breached ministerial code”