Wales politics

Welsh Lib Dems challenged over William Powell warning

William Powell
Image caption William Powell has issued an unreserved apology

The Welsh Conservatives say they want more details from the Lib Dems about the action taken by the party after a complaint of inappropriate behaviour was made against one of its AMs.

Mid and West Wales AM William Powell made an unreserved apology to a female activist after an incident in 2011.

The Lib Dems said Mr Powell was given a formal written warning last year.

But the Conservatives want clarification about whether it has satisfied the person who came forward.

It has emerged Mr Powell had been given a formal written warning by his party.

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: "We want clarification about what a written warning means in practice and whether it has satisfied the person who came forward with the allegation."

A statement from the Liberal Democrats on Saturday said Mr Powell was told that any future misdemeanour could result in more serious sanctions being imposed.

The Conservatives said they would like to know what those sanctions could be.

The woman who complained, now 21, alleged that in 2011 Mr Powell gave her and two other women the strong alcoholic drink absinthe, touched her leg and put his hands round their waists.

The Lib Dems confirmed the warning.

The incident involving Mr Powell, his party's agriculture spokesman, was reported in the Daily Mail.

In a statement on Saturday, the Welsh Lib Dems said they had received an anonymous complaint in May last year about Mr Powell's behaviour in an incident in June 2011.

The complainant had spoken to the chair of her local party, the statement said.

Written warning

She said she did not want to pursue a formal grievance procedure and wished to remain anonymous, but wanted the party to be aware of the issue.

The Welsh Lib Dems said the complaint was treated seriously, a report was compiled and passed to their chief whip in Cardiff Bay, Aled Roberts.

Mr Powell was interviewed by Mr Roberts and given a formal written warning that such behaviour would not be tolerated.

He was told any future misdemeanour could result in "more serious sanctions being imposed".

The party says that no further complaint has been received since.

Mr Powell said in a statement: "I am aware of an anonymous complaint having been made.

"The complaint was put to me by the chief whip and I cooperated fully with him in this matter.

"I apologised to the chief whip and offered an unreserved apology, through him, to anyone else for any hurt or offence caused and I would certainly wish to do so again, in writing or in person."

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