Ross England deselected by Welsh Conservatives after rape trial 'sabotage'

The Welsh Conservatives have withdrawn Ross England as a candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan Assembly after he 'sabotaged' a rape trial.

He was [suspended from the party in October](http://criticised by a Cardiff Crown Court judge for his evidence at a trial in which someone he knew was accused of rape.) after being criticised by a Cardiff Crown Court judge for his evidence at a trial in which someone he knew was accused of rape.

Mr England was standing for the Conservatives in the Vale of Glamorgan in the 2021 Assembly election.

The court heard Mr England "sabotaged" the trial through a "deliberate" and "stupid" attempt to tell the jury about the victim's sexual history, a court heard.

The remarks were made during the trial in April 2018 but could not be reported because of an ongoing legal appeal.

The Welsh Conservative Candidates Committee convened on 22nd January 2020 to consider the evidence in respect of an issue concerning Vale of Glamorgan Assembly candidate Ross England, and concluded that his candidacy should be withdrawn. Ross England is therefore no longer a Welsh Conservative candidate.

Lord Davies of Gower, Chairman, Welsh Conservatives
Alun Cairns quit as Secretary of State for Wales in November. Credit: PA Images

During the trial Judge Stephen Hopkins QC told Mr England: "You have managed, singlehandedly, and I have no doubt it was deliberate on your part, to sabotage this trial.

"Mr England, as far as I am concerned, this matter so far as you are concerned isn’t ended. I shall be writing personal letters to people who are politically close to you and I hope they take appropriate action. Get out of my court."

In December, former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP was cleared of breaching the ministerial code following claims he knew about Mr England's role in allegedly sabotaging the rape trial.

Mr Cairns quit his cabinet position as Secretary of State for Wales in November following the claims he lied about his knowledge of Ross England's involvement in the collapse of a rape case.

The case had to be ended early and a retrial took place six months later.

The court case in question had to be ended early and a retrial took place six months later, last October, when the victim had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence for a second time and the defendant, James Hackett, was found guilty and jailed for five years.

Alun Cairns had welcomed the selection of Mr England in December. Credit: aluncairns.com

Despite the judge’s promise to write letters to call for "appropriate action" to be taken Mr England was selected as an Assembly candidate that December.

He was praised by his former boss, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, in a press release welcoming his selection and describing the pair as “friends and colleagues”.

Mr Cairns was asked whether he knew of the judge’s attack and why he congratulated Mr England on his selection. Mr Cairns said he could not disclose employment records and did not go beyond that.

In response Mr England said: "I was not told that anything had been ruled inadmissible prior to my testimony. I gave an honest answer, honouring the oath I took to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."