Two Lib Dem Welsh Assembly Members step down on technicality

The BBC reports:

Liberal Democrats John Dixon and Aled Roberts have had to step down as it emerged they were members of organisations the law does not allow AMs to be part of.

They have resigned respectively from the Care Council for Wales and the Valuation Tribunal for Wales.

The pair expect to be readmitted to the assembly following a vote on Wednesday.

Under the National Assembly Disqualification Order 2011, AMs are not permitted to be members of certain organisations to avoid conflicts of interest.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

“Two assembly members had positions with outside bodies which technically disqualified them from taking up their position as assembly members.

“Aled Roberts has resigned his position with the Valuation Tribunal for Wales whilst John Dixon has resigned from his position with the Care Council for Wales.

“However both were members of these organisations at the time of their election.

“This issue will be resolved with a resolution of the assembly, which is likely to be passed with cross-party support.”

Read the full story at the BBC website.

Update:

From the BBC:

A motion which would have reinstated them if a majority of AMs voted in favour was withdrawn from today’s plenary session. The earliest another motion can be tabled is next Wednesday afternoon.

Liberal Democrat Welsh Assembly Member Peter Black told BBC Wales today:

I think it’s appropriate that there is a period of contrition because clearly this has put everyone through a difficult period and the members concerned obviously have responsibility to ensure that they are eligible to stand when they stand and so I think we need to sort those issues out first.

It is a bit embarrassing and it is a bit of a distraction. It’s very important that we sort this out.

We have two very high calibre assembly members who need to be able to take their seats – I need to work with the other parties to persuade them to support that.

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7 Comments

  • My recollection from local government is that if you were disqualified on the day of nomination you weren’t qualified to stand – and a later resignation didn’t alter that (ie you could stand and resign if elected).

    Are the rules different for the Welsh Assembly?

  • Hywel – I think it has something to do with regional party lists as opposed to individuals standing for election. I’m not a fan of lists myself

  • Harry Hayfield 18th May '11 - 7:43pm

    When I filled in the form for the local elections back in 2008, there was a question “Are you a member of an organisation that could debar you from elected office?”. Can I ask if this question was answered and if not, why not?

  • Tony Greaves 18th May '11 - 9:10pm

    This is an embarrassing shambles. Surely the blame lies with the Welsh party for sloppy approval and nomination procedures. It has also given the Labour Party the chance to be as vindictively nasty as only that body can be.

    Tony Greaves

  • David Boothroyd 19th May '11 - 12:10am

    It’s amazing how all these Lib Dems seem to think that the Labour Party has a duty to go out of its way to help out your party. That way on AV, on Lords Reform, and now on your disqualified AMs. No, the Labour Party is under no obligation to help you out.

  • Should they not have resigned prior to the election/nomination?

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