Wales politics

Carwyn Jones bullying remarks investigation inquiry outlined

James Hamilton Image copyright PA
Image caption James Hamilton is looking at answers given by Carwyn Jones over whether bullying allegations had been made

An independent inquiry will examine whether the first minister breached the ministerial code when he told a Tory AM in 2014 no bullying allegations had been made about special advisors.

The scope of the inquiry, led by James Hamilton, has been announced.

It will also examine comments Carwyn Jones made last month that the issues were "dealt with" at the time.

Bullying allegations against the Welsh Government emerged in the wake of the death of former minister Carl Sargeant.

Mr Jones referred himself for advice under the ministerial code to Mr Hamilton, a former senior prosecutor in the Republic of Ireland and an independent advisor to the Scottish Government, in November.

It followed a row over whether Mr Jones misled the assembly when, on 11 November 2014, he told Darren Millar "no allegations had been made" regarding bullying by special advisors in the preceding three years.

On 14 November 2017 in the Senedd he said, in response to questions from Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies: "Any issues brought to my attention at that time were dealt with."

It is these responses Mr Hamilton will examine.

Mr Jones later said no specific allegation of bullying was made, and has faced further allegations that he has misled the assembly over other answers he has given.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government's permanent secretary, Shan Morgan, said: "The terms of reference set by the first minister to Mr Hamilton are for him to provide advice on: The allegation that I breached the ministerial code in relation to answers I gave to questions on 11 November 2014 and 14 November 2017.

"The ministerial code does not prescribe the scope, format, or conduct of the process and it is for Mr Hamilton to determine how to act on the matter which has been referred."

She added that Mr Hamilton's findings would be made public following the conclusion of his work, which has commenced.

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