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  1. ITV Report

First Minister to be investigated by independent adviser over claims he misled the Assembly

An independent adviser has been appointed to investigate whether the First Minister breached the ministerial code over allegations of bullying.

Carwyn Jones has released a statement saying that James Hamilton, a current independent adviser to the Scottish Government, will look into allegations made by opposition parties that the First Minister misled the Assembly when answering questions about bullying claims in 2014.

Here's the statement released by the First Minister

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Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies a letter to Mr Jones last week raising a question from 2014 by Darren Millar, in response to which the First Minister said 'no allegations have been made,' after the First Minister gave a different answer in First Minister's questions.

Other opposition parties joined the call for an AM-led inquiry and Mr Jones rejected accusations that he'd misled the Assembly, saying there were no bullying allegations.

The Welsh Conservatives welcomed the progress saying 'independence is crucial.'

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We are pleased the First Minister agrees with our long-held assessment that the current ministerial code is flawed and has taken the appropriate steps to correct this.

We welcome the appointment of an independent adviser to undertake the investigation into these serious allegations of bullying - something which we specifically requested from the Permanent Secretary two weeks ago.

While these are positive steps, it remains vital that Assembly Members will have an opportunity to scrutinise the First Minister over these allegations.

We need firm assurances from the Permanent Secretary over the transparency of the pending investigation and a clear timeline for when we can expect findings to be published. This cannot be dragged out or swept under the carpet

– Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservatives leader

Plaid Cymru described the announcement as 'long overdue.'

This is long overdue. It is regrettable that the Labour government has had to take this decision reactively instead of being proactive. Plaid Cymru has called for an independent adjudicator of the ministerial code for many years and it should have been established much earlier.

We now need to see the details and have clarity on whether any referral is separate to previously announced independent inquiry. The people of Wales will want absolute transparency from this process, and the Welsh Government must ensure that it happens.

– Plaid Cymru spokesperson