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6th November 2019

Vale MP resigns as Welsh Secretary amid rape trial 'sabotage' row

BY: Nathan Spackman

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns has quit his role as Welsh Secretary following claims he knew about a former aide's role in the "sabotage" of a rape trial.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns denied knowing Tory assembly candidate Ross England made claims about the victim's sexual history in the April 2018 trial.

But BBC Wales discovered Mr Cairns was emailed about it in August 2018, four months before Ross England was chosen as Vale of Glamorgan Assembly Candidate.

The Vale of Glamorgan MP previously said he only became aware of Mr England's role in the trial's collapse when the story broke last week.

Alun Cairns has been a cabinet member since being appointed in 2016.

He has today confirmed that he will still stand as a Parliamentary Candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan in the current General Election.

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Cairns - who was MP for Vale of Glamorgan - said: "You will be aware of allegations relating to the actions of a party employee and candidate for the Welsh assembly elections in the Vale of Glamorgan.

"This is a very sensitive matter, and in light of continued speculation, I write to tender my resignation as secretary of state for Wales.

"I will co-operate in full with the investigation under the Ministerial Code which will now take place and I am confident I will be cleared of any breach or wrong doing."

The letter or resignation sent to Boris Johnson by Alun Cairns

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Paul Davies AM, commented: “I am sorry to see Alun resign today as the Secretary of State for Wales however, under the circumstances this was the right decision for him. Alun has rightly stated that he will cooperate fully with any investigations.

“I would like to thank Alun for his service to Wales as our Secretary of State where he brought an end to the Severn Bridge Tolls which will leave a lasting legacy on the Welsh economy.”

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