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Three Conservatives and one Labour Assembly Member are being investigated over allegations they had late-night drinks last month at the Senedd in Cardiff. It purportedly happened last December 8, just four days after the Welsh Government issued coronavirus guidelines prohibiting hospitality businesses from selling alcohol past 6pm, ITV News reported.
Labour MS Alun Davies has been suspended while the group awaits the findings of an enquiry into the accusations.
A spokesperson for the Senedd Labour group confirmed Mr Davies’ suspension.
They said: “A member has been suspended from the privileges of Senedd Labour group membership while an investigation takes place into this alleged incident.”
Mr Davies explained that the initial aim of the gathering was to seek backing from his Tory counterparts for a Bill to improve the outcomes for patients diagnosed with cardiac arrests.
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The Labour MS said: “I am very sorry if my actions have given the impression that I am in any way not committed to upholding the regulations, which I have consistently supported throughout the last year.
“For context, the purpose of this meeting from my perspective was to seek to persuade the Welsh Conservatives to support my proposal for a Welsh Hearts Bill. This is part of my work across political parties on this issue.”
Mr Davies added that the Senedd commission corroborated that the coronavirus rules regarding alcohol and gathering size were not violated.
He said: “The Senedd commission has already confirmed to me that I did not breach the coronavirus regulations on the consumption of either food or alcohol that were in force at that time.
“I have also confirmed to the commission that the regulations on the number of people present and on social distancing were not breached either. I look forward to the commission’s final conclusions on this matter.”
Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies, Chief Whip Darren Millar and Nick Ramsay issued an apology over their failure to follow “the spirit” of the coronavirus restrictions.
They said in a joint statement: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.
“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”
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The Senedd commission – the body that manages the services, property and staff for the Senedd – acknowledged the apparent breach.
A spokesman for the Governmental body said: “We are aware of an incident on the Senedd estate last month which may have been contrary to public health regulations in force at the time.
“The Senedd commission takes the public health regulations in Wales very seriously and is currently investigating the matter in order to establish an accurate account of what took place and to determine whether action may be required.”
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