Thursday, 19 May 2011

Kirsty knew of Aled's problem six months ago

Rarely has the Assembly's constitutional affairs committee thrown up such an interesting little nugget.

Back in November, AMs discussed how membership of certain bodies such as the National Parks or Forestry Commission disqualified candidates from becoming AMs.

After a fairly brief debate where the matter was made clear, came this intervention from the Lib Dem leader:

[63] Kirsty Williams: I agree with the proposed course of action, but we are getting dangerously close to an election period, and I can think of at least one candidate from my party who would fall foul of these rules as they are currently drafted. Therefore, we need clarity as quickly as possible, because candidates have been selected who need to make decisions about the bodies on which they currently sit or the employment they currently have. There is nothing worse than someone falling foul of the rules, having legitimately secured a place in the Assembly, only to have that taken away because we have not been clear about the rules around candidature. We should impress upon the First Minister that he needs to deal with this quickly as a matter of urgency, given how close we are to an election period. It is not as if he has three years to sort this out.

The question arises - did Kirsty inform Aled Roberts or John Dixon of this danger?


Anonymous said...

To quote Malcolm Tucker: The fucking fucker's fucking fucked.

Peter Black said...

What a completely absurd and bizarre statement. Do you really think that if Kirsty had known about Aled or John she would not have acted to ensure this situation did not happen? It is true that the party failed to properly instruct candidates, though legally they are responsible for their own situations, but that was not deliberate.

Kirsty is in fact referring to the one candidate she was aware of as having a conflict. That was Bill Powell, who was a member of the National Park. Because she knew about this conflict she warned him in advance and he resigned this position before submitting his nomination.

As an aside it is worth noting that Aled Roberts did seek advice. He received guidance from the electoral commission via the returning officer and also the Assembly's own website. Both contained the 2006 guidance that does not refer to the valuation panel. It was reasonable therefore for him to believe that he was in the clear.

anti xenu said...

Do you disagree with arfon that the problems are petty then?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

anti xenu - Unlike some political parties we allow independent thought which is important in a democracy. Perhaps you'd care to read Dafydd Trystan's view
which is pretty close to my view.
I don't think anyone disagrees that Wales have far more important things toi deal with and this is just an amusing distraction.

Plaid Whitegate said...

I also think that Aled and John Dixon should be allowed to continue as AMs. The thought of Eleanor Burnham returning to the Senedd isn't worth contemplating!
The point of the blog is that the Lib Dem leader was aware of the potential problem and, as confirmed by Peter Black, the party failed to inform candidates of the problem.