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Written Statement - Ministerial Code Enquiry

Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales 

Members know that I asked the Permanent Secretary to examine circumstances surrounding suggestions of a perception of conflict between the Minister for Natural Resources and Food’s ministerial role and his constituency interests.  That report has been completed and a copy will be placed in the Members Library later today.  

I asked for a report setting out the relevant facts.  Having carefully considered the matter it is clear to me that the Ministerial Code was breached.  Managing the potential for conflict between ministerial responsibility and constituency interests represents a permanent challenge for all of us in government.  In some cases the issues are not clear cut and careful lines must be drawn.  

On this occasion I believe that the Minister for Natural Resources and Food did not exercise sufficient care in clearly establishing the perception of full separation between his ministerial and constituency roles.  However, the Minister was not a decision-making Minister in this matter and nor would he have been in any of the circumstances that might have unfolded.  In addition, Natural Resources Wales have been clear that their views were not altered or influenced as a result of the Minister’s engagement as a constituency Assembly Member.      
I have addressed this issue with the Minister directly and he has apologised to me.  He will be making a personal statement in the Chamber later today and I will be taking no further action on this occasion.