Wales politics

Welsh Assembly names interim standards commissioner

Douglas Bain
Image caption Douglas Bain has previously served as standards commissioner in Northern Ireland

Welsh Assembly members have agreed to appoint an acting standards commissioner, following the resignation of Sir Roderick Evans.

Douglas Bain previously served in the equivalent role in Northern Ireland.

Sir Roderick resigned after independent AM Neil McEvoy revealed secret recordings of the commissioner, which he claimed showed sexism and bias.

The outgoing commissioner said much of the detail of the comments shared was out of context and misleading.

South Wales Police is investigating the matter, after presiding officer Elin Jones denounced covert recording on assembly premises as "a serious breach of trust".

Image caption Sir Roderick Evans had been standards commissioner since 2017

The commissioner is responsible for overseeing complaints about politicians in Wales.

Last year Mr Bain was called in by the assembly to investigate a complaint against the then-UKIP AM Gareth Bennett, accused of making a derogatory video about Labour member Joyce Watson, whose face was superimposed on a barmaid's body.

The investigation followed an outcry from Ms Watson's Labour colleagues when Sir Roderick ruled the video was not sexist.

Mr Bain judged that the video had "demeaned" her and recommended Mr Bennett be suspended for a week.

Mr Bennett, who now sits as an independent, described Mr Bain as a "political hatchet man" as the Senedd discussed his appointment as acting commissioner on Wednesday.

He withdrew the remark at the request of the presiding officer.

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