New bid to release secret Welsh Government leak inquiry

The Assembly Member, Neil McEvoy, has launched a new bid to force the Welsh Government to release its hidden inquiry into whether there was an authorised leak of Carl Sargeant’s sacking.

Mr Sargeant was sacked from the Welsh Government after three anonymous complaints were received regarding his conduct. The complaints were not proven, investigated, reported to the police, or even written down, but Mr Sargeant lost his Cabinet job regardless. He took his life four days later.

His sacking was reported by journalists before it had actually taken place, which resulted in an investigation into the leaks being launched.

However, the inquiry was not made public and the Welsh Government has continued to keep it hidden.

This led to Neil McEvoy submitting a motion for debate that would enact Section 37 of the Government of Wales Act. Section 37 allows the National Assembly to compel civil servants to release any document they possess.

The Conservatives submitted an identical motion to Mr McEvoy and forced an early debate, which failed to get a majority by two votes.

In resubmitting his earlier motion, Mr McEvoy said:

“I feel that there is still significant public interest in the circumstances surrounding Carl Sargeant’s sacking and death, and that it’s in the public interest for the report to be released.

“I also feel there was a fairly rushed process the last time the motion was considered, with the Conservatives using a last minute opportunity to force a debate.

“Resubmitting the motion now, with a view to a debate at the beginning of next term, would be of benefit to the Assembly as it would mean there is sufficient time for party groups to properly prepare and scrutinise this very important matter.”

Mr McEvoy also pointed out that because the previous vote was so last minute, some opposition Assembly Members were unable to attend. Labour could also be missing an Assembly Member after it was recommended that Rhianon Passmore be banned from the Assembly for two weeks in September after failing to provide a sample to police after allegedly drink driving.

Jack Sargeant, the son of Carl Sargeant who was elected after his father’s death, has also abstained on all votes relating to his father. With a full complement of opposition AMs and two Labour AMs unable to vote with the government, there is a real possibility the motion could be passed this time, forcing the leak inquiry to be published.

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