Last word for the moment on the 'dangling' Lib Dem Two

1930 BST: A day of updates that ends with this one:

The Electoral Commission may not, as per their statement, have seen Gerard Elias' report but I'm told they have heard some of what's in it. And that it is indeed an issue that involves them, that's behind the delay in publishing his report.

This is how the day unfolded on this particular issue:

It's not just the Welsh Liberal Democrat group sweating it out.

As Assembly Members wait to get their hands on copies of the report written by Gerard Elias QC, outlining the situation of the so-called Lib Dem Two, an email arrives from Scotland:

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Still dangling: John Dixon and Aled Roberts

"I am trying to finalise an electronic handbook on Women and Parliaments in the UK. And I can't confirm the number of women in the Welsh Assembly whilst the Lib Dem Two dangle overhead!"

Should the disqualifications of Aled Roberts and John Dixon not be overturned by AMs, then their seats will be occupied by two women, throwing electronic handbooks (and rather more you suspect) into some disarray.

The two in question won't dangle much longer. Party leaders were given copies of the report to consider over the weekend. Assembly Members are checking their emails regularly and are expecting to see it arrive in their in-trays very soon.


The report, I'm told, won't take too long to read. It deals with the two cases individually, is "reasonable", "fair" and sets out the facts clearly.

Aled Roberts hasn't seen it, he tells the Wrexham Leader but: "... I understand it broadly confirms what I have been saying, that the information I was given about my membership of the tribunal wasn't correct. The information, which came from the Electoral Commission and was passed on by the returning officers, referred to the 2006 rules about the tribunal rather than the 2010 rules, which had changed."

Cymdeithas yr Iaith - the Welsh Language Society - have decided on an early shot across the bows. They've called on AMs to overturn his disqualification, arguing that failing to reinstate him would be "one of the worst cases of linguistic discrimination in Welsh history."

They also want a formal apology from the Presiding Officer and Electoral Commission.

Helpful - or not, wonders one senior Lib Dem.


The author of that handbook will have to wait a little longer - as will the two men involved. The report won't be circulated amongst AMs today after all ... so will Wednesday's vote be delayed?

I'm being told that the reason for the delay is that the Electoral Commission - who must also have seen a copy of the Gerard Elias report - are querying an element of it.

The Electoral Commission have just put out a statement: "We have cooperated fully with Gerard Elias' investigation and will continue to do so. At his request we will attend a further meeting with Mr Elias later this week. We have not seen a copy of his report."

So if not them - what's the problem? And who raised it? Why circulate a report, then withdraw it? Truth is: those who know aren't telling.

Just one last point - and I'm not sure, now, if I'm hearing belts and braces being securely fastened, or the sound of a stable door closing long after the horse has bolted but might there just be paperwork that all involved must update, sign, seal and deliver just in case either man is reinstated?

As I say: people are baffled.