Wales politics

Ross England: Rape trial row Tory candidate deselected

Ross England
Image caption Ross England speaking at Welsh Conservative conference in 2016

A Tory assembly candidate who was accused by a crown court judge of deliberately sabotaging a rape trial has been deselected by his party.

In a statement, the party said Ross England was "no longer a Welsh Conservative candidate".

In April 2018 while giving evidence, Mr England made claims about the victim's sexual history, which she denied.

Alun Cairns denied knowing about his aide's role in the trial's collapse but resigned as Welsh secretary.

The claims made by Mr England were not permissible in court but he denied knowing this when he gave evidence.

Image caption Ross England was selected to stand for the Welsh Conservatives for the 2021 assembly election

Mr Cairns was re-elected as the MP for Vale of Glamorgan in the 2019 general election and later cleared of breaking the ministerial code.

Mr England had been suspended from the party and his candidacy after the events of the rape trial came to light.

Welsh Tory sources told BBC Wales on Wednesday that Mr England had intended to quit the party regardless of the findings of a party investigation.

A Welsh Conservatives spokesman said: "The Welsh Conservative Candidates Committee convened on 22 January 2020 to consider the evidence in respect of an issue concerning Vale of Glamorgan Assembly candidate Ross England, and concluded that his candidacy should be withdrawn. Ross England is therefore no longer a Welsh Conservative candidate."

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