Political groups confident about complaints rules

All four political groups in the Assembly say they're confident in their complaints procedures and that there are no further unreported complaints of inappropriate behaviour.

It follows the acknowledgement that Welsh Liberal Democrat AM, William Powell, had made an unreserved apology after an anonymous complaint was made against him.

I asked the four Assembly groups - Labour, Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrats - if there were any further formal or informal complaints against either elected members of party employees.

Each of them told me there were no further complaints of inappropriate behaviour apart from that of William Powell and, in Labour's case, that of Keith Davies.

The Labour AM for Llanelli was reprimanded by his party in 2012 after admitting being drunk on a night out in Cardiff that ended with him being asked to leave his hotel.

Referring to that incident, a Welsh Labour spokesman told me:

Other than on one occasion, which is already public knowledge, there has been no formal or informal complaint made to the Group regarding inappropriate behaviour. When this incident emerged, the Group acted quickly and decisively.

We have in place our own robust disciplinary process which is contained within the Group’s standing orders and we strongly support the procedures that are in place at an Assembly level.

– Welsh Labour spokesperson

The Welsh Conservatives told me that no formal or informal complaints had been made against members or officials and in response to my question about the rules and regulations the group has in place for handling any such allegations, a spokesperson said:

We are satisfied that current complaints processes within the group are extremely robust and up-to-date.

– Welsh Conservatives spokesperson

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, Kirsty Williams, said last week that the party in Wales had tightened up its rules in the wake of allegations made against Lord Rennard. A spokesperson today reiterated that point.

The spokesperson added that the complaint about William Powell was treated seriously and formally, even though the complainant hadn't asked for a formal grievance procedure to be followed.

Plaid Cymru also said there had been no complaints of inappropriate behaviour and said that its rules had been revamped recently.

Plaid Cymru’s internal disciplinary processes were reviewed as part of our wholesale re4view – ‘Camu mlaen/moving forwards’ that was headed up by Eurfyl ap Gwilym after the 2011 elections. We are confident that the procedures that we now have in place as a result are robust

– Plaid Cymru spokesperson