A former Welsh Government Minister is claiming the First Minister was made aware of bullying claims by three cabinet ministers in 2014.
Leighton Andrews has emailed Carwyn Jones, saying an independent adviser’s remit should be widened to consider all of his answers about a historical bullying culture in the Welsh Government.
He has also revealed a text message he received from a Welsh Government Special Adviser on 14 October 2014, confirming that the First Minister had agreed to speak to Mr Andrews, Carl Sargeant and their fellow Cabinet Minister Lesley Griffiths.
The text does not specify what would be discussed.
In his email, Leighton Andrews tells the First Minister:
"I believe that you have misled the National Assembly on several occasions since Carl Sargeant’s death".
He claims the misleading answers were regarding whether or not the First Minister knew about bullying or other issues or concerns and whether or not there had been a demand for a formal investigation. He also makes several further claims:
That the independent adviser’s current remit "appears to be rather narrowly drawn"
That the issues raised in 2014 were "significantly more serious than a ‘petty dispute about the title of a bill’ as you claimed in an interview... with ITV Wales".
That it isn’t a personal dispute. He tells the First Minister "if you wish to continue to represent this as a personal dispute between us, that is a matter for you. It is not."
That the First Minister is playing down his concerns about bullying and showing "extraordinary disrespect to four people who have served in your cabinets including the late Carl Sargeant".
Here is his email in full:
Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies has reacted to these latest developments by demanding an absolute assurance from the First Minister that he will in no way screen the evidence submitted to the inquiry and that it will be received and reviewed only by the independent investigator and his team.