Inquiry finds no evidence the First Minister misled Assembly over bullying allegations

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The allegations centred on claims that the late Carl Sargeant was undermined by a special adviser acting on behalf of the First Minister.

The potential breach of the Ministerial Code arose because Carwyn Jones had flatly denied in the Senedd that there had been any bullying. The code requires ministers to always give truthful answers. The First Minister has issued the following statement:

On November 23rd 2017, I announced that the Ministerial Code was to be revised, in order to provide for allegations that the Code has been breached to be referred to an independent adviser as a source of external and independent advice to me. I agreed with James Hamilton, a current Independent Adviser to the Scottish Government, that he would accept a referral from me in relation to allegations that I breached the Ministerial Code. On December 5th, I wrote to Mr Hamilton to ask for his advice on the allegation that I breached the Ministerial Code in relation to answers I gave to the National Assembly on November 11th 2014 and November 14th 2017. Mr Hamilton has now completed his inquiry, and provided his advice to me in the form of are port. I am today laying the full report before the National Assembly without redaction.

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

In his report, James Hamilton says he took evidence from Leighton Andrews, the former cabinet minister who made allegations that some ministers were undermined by a Welsh Government special adviser.

Mr Hamilton concluded that "there is no evidence that the matter complained of on that date was described as bullying and the allegation was strongly disputed by the adviser. I found that even if the allegation were substantiated, it is doubtful that it could properly be described as bullying".

My conclusion is that, since the answers given by the First Minister on 11 November 2014 and 14 November 2017 were accurate and truthful, and not misleading, the First Minister did not breach the Ministerial Code.

Independent Adviser James Hamilton