Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns resigns following allegations his former aide “sabotaged” a rape trial.
Welsh secretary Alun Cairns has resigned following allegations his former aide, Ross England “sabotaged” a rape trial.
Ross England made claims about the victim’s sexual history in an April 2018 trial which led to its collapse.
Mr Cairns denied knowing about this, however BBC Wales discovered he had emailed about it in August 2018 – four months before Mr England was chosen as Vale of Glamorgan candidate for the 2021 Welsh Assembly election.
Cairns had been a cabinet member since 2016.
Writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (see below) Cairns said he had decided to resign because it was “a very sensitive matter” about which there had been “continued speculation”.
Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party Group in the Welsh Assembly Paul Davies AM, said:
“I am sorry to see Alun resign today as the Secretary of State for Wales however, under the circumstances this was the right decision for him.
Alun has rightly stated that he will cooperate fully with any investigations.
I would like to thank Alun for his service to Wales as our Secretary of State where he brought an end to the Severn Bridge Tolls which will leave a lasting legacy on the Welsh economy.”
Christina Rees, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales said:
“Alun Cairns stepping down as Secretary of State is far from the end of the matter, and is a shoddy halfway house that will fool nobody.
He has still not explained his behaviour and still not addressed the grave issues raised by the leaked emails yesterday. Worse still, neither he nor any senior Welsh Tory have apologised to one person who most deserves it – the victim herself.
He should do the right thing – apologise, and step down as a candidate.”
Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts said: “I hope that Alun Cairns’ resignation as Secretary of State proves to be some solace to the woman at the centre of this case, who still has received no apology from the Conservative party.
“Mr Cairns’ conduct proved unquestionably that he is not fit to hold ministerial office. You simply cannot be complicit in the attempted cover up of sabotaging a rape trial and hope to get away with it.
“Such conduct is neither befitting of a government minister, nor of a member of parliament. Mr Cairns should do the honourable thing and withdraw from the election – and if he doesn’t, the Conservative party should insist he withdraws.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com