Health Minister Eluned Morgan apologises to people of Wales over driving ban for speeding

Eluned Morgan MS
Eluned Morgan faced what’s known as a vote of censure in the Senedd.

The Health Minister has apologised to Senedd members and to the people of Wales after being formally reprimanded by the Welsh parliament.

Eluned Morgan faced what’s known as a vote of censure in the Senedd which means that the reasons for it were put on record and she was given chance to make her public apology. 

It was held because she was fined £800 at Mold Magistrates Court in March and disqualified from driving for six months after pleading guilty to speeding.

The ban was imposed because of previous speeding offences in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Speaking in the chamber, Ms Morgan said: “I'm aware that the role of elected representatives is to lead by example. There's an expectation on all of us to uphold the highest standards and throughout this process, I've accepted that I failed to do so through my actions in this case.

“I'd like to place on record in the chamber my sincere remorse and deep regret for my actions.

“I confirm that I pleaded guilty and accepted the court's judgement. I apologise unreservedly and wholeheartedly to you, my fellow Senedd members and to the people of Wales for the embarrassing position that I've put myself and this respected institution in and I want to say sorry to anyone who's been affected by my actions.”

The vote was a recommendation of the Senedd’s Standards Committee which is made up of members from each of the three main parties in the Welsh Parliament: Labour, Conservatives and Plaid Cymru. 

The Committee concluded that Eluned Morgan should be censured but stopped short of suspending her from the chamber.

The Committee concluded that she should be censured but stopped short of suspending her from the chamber.

In its report it said that: “Receiving a driving ban and the associated fine for speeding offences is a serious matter. 

“The number of offences over a relatively short period of time, which led to this conviction, shows a pattern of behaviour that is below the standard expected of a Member of the Senedd. 23. 

“In reaching its decision, the Committee took account of the fact that the Member had pleaded guilty to the offence and had already been sentenced by the Court. 

“The Committee also took into account that the Member concerned had apologised to the First Minister, the Llywydd and the Committee for her conduct.”

The Committee’s report was in turn based on the Standards Commissioner Douglas Bain who looked into whether or not she had breached the members’ code of conduct. 

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In April he wrote: “Although some would regard the offence in the present complaint as not being particularly serious, when taken along with the three previous convictions for the same offence it demonstrates a disregard for the law and a failure to take action to avoid repetition of unlawful conduct. 

“I am satisfied that Mrs Morgan’s conduct did, as asserted not up-hold “the high standards of conduct expected of by an MS” and that it did breach the Integrity Principle. 

“The conduct set a very poor example to others. I am satisfied that it breached the Leadership Principle.”

In May the First Minister said he would take no further action against his minister although he acknowledged that she did not uphold the high standards expected of her. 

He had considered whether or not she had breached the ministerial code. He said that he did not “condone the actions of the minister… but noted that she did not contest the charge and fully accepted the punishment of the court on 17 March."