Health Minister Eluned Morgan facing reprimand after driving ban for speeding offences

Eluned Morgan is Health Minister in Mark Drakeford’s government. 

A Welsh Government minister is expected to be reprimanded by Senedd members after she was banned from driving for speeding offences.

Eluned Morgan is Health Minister in Mark Drakeford’s government. 

She was fined £800 at Mold Magistrate's 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.

Ms Morgan will today face a vote of censure in the Senedd, a kind of formal reprimand in which the reasons will be set out and she will be given the chance to apologise to fellow members. 

Eluned Morgan is expected to be reprimanded by fellow Senedd members.

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 she should be censured but stopped short of suspending her from the chamber.

In its report the committee said: “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 conduct set a very poor example to others'

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. 

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 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.”

Eluned Morgan said she "deeply regrets" her actions.

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."

'I have accepted responsibility for my actions'

As well as today’s expected apology, Eluned Morgan has previously issued several other apologies to the First Minister, the Llwydd and to the committee. 

In that apology she said: “I have accepted the factual description of the events as outlined by the Commissioner in his report. I have apologised unreservedly and have made it clear that I am not at all proud of the fact that I am now disqualified from driving for six months and I have been fined a significant sum as a result of speeding under the totting up provisions of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. 

“I deeply regret my actions and the Commissioner has recognised this in paragraph 4.3 noting that I apologised to the First Minister and to the Llywydd.

“I also issued a statement upon my conviction and disqualification. I would now like to extend that apology to members of the Standards Committee and to Members of the Senedd.”

She concluded: “I would like to make it clear that I did not contest the charge, and I fully accept the judgement of the court and I have accepted responsibility for my actions at the outset and throughout this process. I hope that members will accept my contrition, my remorse and my sincere apology.”