COVID-19: Four senior Welsh politicians under investigation over claims they broke lockdown rules

Four senior politicians have apologised and are under investigation over claims they broke coronavirus rules.

The three Conservatives – Paul Davies, leader of the Welsh Tories in the Senedd; opposition chief whip Darren Millar and shadow finance minister Nick Ramsey – as well as Labour’s Alun Davies, deny wrongdoing.

Paul Davies has been suspended by his party while a probe into the allegations is carried out.

He said in a statement he was “very sorry if my actions have given the impression that I am in any way not committed to upholding” strict coronavirus regulations.

The “meeting” was organised because he wanted to persuade the Welsh Conservatives to support his proposal for a new piece of legislation, Mr Davies added.

He also said the Senedd Commission found he did not breach the guidance or law “on the consumption of either food or alcohol that were in force at that time”.

And Paul Davies added that neither social distancing nor limits on the number of people who can mix socially were breached.

In a joint statement, the three Conservatives said they were “profoundly sorry for our actions”.

They insisted they did not “break the rules”, but admitted they “recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through”.

The Senedd Commission, the corporate body that oversees the Welsh Parliament, said it was “aware of an incident on the Senedd estate last month which may have been contrary to public health regulations in force at the time”.

It added: “The Senedd Commission takes the public health regulations in Wales very seriously and is currently investigating the matter in order to establish an accurate account of what took place and to determine whether action may be required.”

Sky News was told the incident occurred around 8 December, after midnight.

A few days earlier, pubs and restaurants across Wales were banned from selling alcohol and forced to close at 6pm.

Back in May, Darren Miller attacked Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething for being photographed going for a walk with his family and eating chips – despite COVID-19 restrictions.

At the time, Mr Miller called for Mr Gething to be sacked, saying: “It looks to the public that it’s one rule for the health minister and another rule for them.”

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