The First Minister is today facing calls to give investigators looking into the circumstances surrounding Carl Sargeant’s dismissal access to his private emails.
It comes after the emergence of a letter (attached), published today, in which Carwyn Jones admitted to the Welsh Conservative leader that since 2009 he has “occasionally” used a personal email address to communicate with Welsh Government officials, advisers and ministers.
Andrew RT Davies said the emails could hold “crucial evidence” to several investigations into the conduct of the First Minister, including an inquiry into whether he broke the ministerial code by misleading AMs over his knowledge of bullying within his own office.
Mr Davies has today written (letter attached) to the Carwyn Jones asking him to commit to releasing all personal emails pertaining to government business, and raises several concerns about this practice.
Last Thursday, the Welsh Government’s Permanent Secretary, Shan Morgan, concluded her investigation into the leaking inquiry, which was prompted by allegations that people working within the First Minister’s office leaked information about the latest Cabinet reshuffle before the event took place on November 3rd.
Ms Morgan concluded that there had been no prior “unauthorised disclosure by Welsh Government”, and during FMQs this week the First Minister dismissed evidence from several twitter postings suggesting that members of the media and lobbyists knew of Carl Sargeant’s sacking before the event itself.
Andrew RT Davies said: “The First Minister’s admission that he sometimes uses a personal email address for government business raises several legitimate concerns.
“Firstly, are the investigators who are leading inquiries into his conduct in office aware of his use of a personal email address for government business, and do they have access to these emails? If not, in the name of transparency, will he commit to their release?
“Secondly, we need to understand whether he has ever received or distributed classified or confidential information from his personal account, and whether this was archived on a Welsh Government server.
“These emails are a potential blind spot for investigators and could hold crucial evidence to their enquiries. If the First Minister is committed to justice and to maintaining public confidence in his leadership then he will do the right thing by handing over all relevant correspondence from his personal account to investigators.”