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‘Who watches the watchmen?’ – Kirsty Williams AM

2012 Hydref 9 4:17 PM

The Welsh Labour Government has once again ignored calls for there to be a debate on the Ministerial Code.

In this afternoon's Business Questions, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams, called for time to be made to discuss the fact that, unlike the Scottish and UK Governments, the First Minister is solely responsible for dealing with alleged breaches of the Welsh Ministerial Code.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"It is surely not right that the First Minister is judge, jury and executioner for complaints about his Cabinet colleagues or indeed, even himself. With that currently being the case, it is hardly surprising that the jury rarely delivers a guilty verdict.

"Time and time again the Welsh Labour Government has declined attempts made by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to encourage further transparency within our democratic system. Today is yet another example of that. The Welsh Labour Government might want this issue to go away, but the Welsh Liberal Democrats will not give up so easy.

"In Scotland, a panel of former presiding officers advises on the application of the Ministerial Code. In Westminster, the Prime Minister has an independent advisor. Even allegations of misconduct by an Assembly Member are investigated by the commissioner for standards. The question has to be asked, what makes the First Minister think he is so special that he has the final word on whether his colleagues have acted inappropriately?".