Neil McEvoy AM has submitted an official motion to the National Assembly for Wales, calling for the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government to release a report of the investigation into the potential leak of information during the November 2017 Ministerial reshuffle. The reshuffle led to former Cabinet Secretary, Carl Sargeant, being sacked from his role.
It has been widely speculated that details of the reshuffle were leaked before it happened. In February 2018, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, alleged that a lobbying firm had provided the information.
The motion will be submitted to the Business Committee of the National Assembly after the Easter recess.
So far, the Permanent Secretary has refused to release the leak report, which found no evidence of an authorised leak of information relating to the reshuffle. As a result, the National Assembly voted for the report to be released through a non-binding motion. But that motion was ignored.
Neil McEvoy AM has now submitted a No Named Day Motion which invokes Section 37 of the Government of Wales Act 2006. The Section allows the Assembly to require any person to produce for the purposes of the Assembly any document in their possession. Names will be redacted to protect the anonymity of people who provided evidence to the investigation.
This Assembly power has never previously been used and would represent a first for the Welsh legislature.
Speaking about this motion, Mr McEvoy AM said:
“The Labour Welsh Government claims to be open and transparent but the Permanent Secretary is refusing to release an investigation that is clearly in the public interest.
“People in Wales have a right see this investigation and that’s why I’ve invoked the Government of Wales Act to demand it is released. The Government has already ignored one call from the democratically elected representatives of Wales. I now hope Assembly Members from all parties can support the motion so that we can ensure the Welsh Government operates in an open way.
“There are still so many questions around the controversial reshuffle that took place in November 2017. But rather than help answer those questions the Welsh Government seems intent on secrecy. That’s no way for a Government to operate. Labour needs to come out of the shadows.”
The text of Mr McEvoy AM’s motion reads:
‘To propose that the National Assembly for Wales, acting in accordance with Section 37(1)(b) of the Government of Wales Act 2006, requires the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government to produce for the purposes of the Assembly, with appropriate redactions to ensure anonymity of witnesses, the report of the investigation into whether there was any evidence of prior unauthorised sharing of information relating to the November 2017 Ministerial reshuffle.’
- Andrew RT Davies alleges lobbying firm provided reshuffle information http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43224957
- Redacted Carl Sargeant leak report refused by senior civil servant http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43428921
- Section 37 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/32/section/37
- Neil McEvoy AM’s No Named Day Motion http://record.assembly.wales/OrderPaper/Motions/21-03-2018?type=NNDM