Wales politics

Alun Davies sacking: Former adviser questions reaction

Alun Davies
Image caption Alun Davies was sacked as a minister on Tuesday by Carwyn Jones

A former Labour adviser says some of the reaction to the sacking of environment minister Alun Davies' has been 'disproportionate'.

Mr Davies was axed from his post for trying to obtain private personal details about opposition politicians.

David Taylor, who worked for Peter Hain when he was Welsh Secretary, has questioned the 'outrage' vented.

It comes as the Welsh Conservative leader has called for an independent investigation into the matter.

Mr Taylor told the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales: "I think it was right that Alun had to go and I think everybody recognises that, but I do think that the reaction has been disproportionate to his offence.

"It was right that he lost his job but I think that some of the outrage that has been expressed has been slightly hypocritical and disproportionate to the offence."

First Minister Carwyn Jones sacked Mr Davies on Tuesday when it emerged that he had asked civil servants to provide him with details about farm subsidy payments made to five opposition assembly members.

The request was made by the former Natural Resources minister the day after he was publically reprimanded for breaching the ministerial code of conduct.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies says he wants an independent investigation

That followed his intervention on behalf of a planned racetrack at Ebbw Vale, in his Blaenau Gwent constituency.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies - one of the AMs the former minister wanted information on - said the first minister had shown "a real lack of judgement" by not sacking Mr Davies a week earlier.

Mr Davies has now personally apologised to all five opposition members.

But while welcoming the apology, the Conservative leader added: "It did take nearly 24 hours and an instruction from the first minister.

"I do think we need an independent inquiry, chaired by an independent judge to look at all this and make sure that we can have the confidence that this isn't part of a wider abuse of the system, which I hope it's not going to prove."

Alun Davies has declined requests from BBC Wales for an interview.

Sunday Politics Wales is on BBC One Wales on Sunday at 11:00 BST.

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