Wales politics

Neil McEvoy row: No hidden recording equipment found at assembly

Neil McEvoy
Image caption Neil McEvoy said previously he used a mobile phone to make recordings

No hidden recording equipment was found at the Welsh assembly after a security sweep was ordered, officials have said.

The check was carried out following a row over secret recordings made by Assembly Member Neil McEvoy.

He recorded the then Standards Commissioner, Sir Roderick Evans, who was in charge of overseeing three complaints about him.

The Assembly Commission said the search did not find any covert "recording or monitoring devices".

The commission is responsible for the assembly's buildings and employees.

South Wales Police said it was continuing to carry out its own inquiries into "a number of complaints" following the row.

Sir Roderick resigned two weeks ago after complaining that Mr McEvoy's actions in recording conversations with him and his staff were "wholly unacceptable".

The former High Court judge said much of what had been shared by Mr McEvoy was out of context and misleading.

But Mr McEvoy claimed his recordings revealed sexism and bias.

Image caption Sir Roderick Evans had been standards commissioner since 2017 and resigned earlier in November

The Independent AM has defended his actions, and accused Sir Roderick of presiding over a "locker room culture", claiming the commissioner aired "really sexist views" about female lawyers.

He recorded hearings held by the commissioner as he conducted his investigation into Mr McEvoy, using a mobile phone he said was either in his jacket, bag or on a table.

They recorded conversations held while the South Wales Central AM was out of the room and others on the recordings were unaware he had made them.

Presiding Officer Elin Jones previously said "the covert recording of private conversations on the assembly estate is a serious breach of trust", and police had been asked to investigate their legality.

Police said earlier this month they had begun an investigation after a referral from the assembly "concerning allegations of covert recordings".

The search for any devices was then carried out by assembly staff.

The Assembly Commission told BBC Wales: "The National Assembly for Wales security team has completed its search of the Cardiff Bay Estate, with the co-operation of Assembly Members, their staff and commission staff.

"No recording or monitoring devices were discovered during the search.

"At this time we cannot comment on the status of the ongoing police investigation."

South Wales Police said inquiries were continuing and could not comment further.

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