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Welsh natural resources minister sacked

The Welsh Government leader has removed Alun Davies, the minister for natural resources and food, from the executive as a result of “inappropriate” requests he made to civil servants.

First minister Carwyn Jones said he told Davies to leave the Government after discovering that the minister had asked civil servants to get hold of information regarding some farm subsidies paid to five Welsh Assembly members.

Davies asked to see details of Common Agricultural Policy payments made to them, both by email and verbally, according to a civil servant who wrote to Jones asking for advice on the matter.

The civil servant was concerned because such information is not in the public domain and the ministerial code of conduct prevents the use of Welsh Government resources for “party-political” purposes.

Jones said: “I believe that these requests were poorly judged, inappropriate and the fact that they were made at all is unacceptable to me as First Minister.

“As a result, I have asked the Minister for Natural Resources and Food to leave the government. I made this decision with some regret and would like to record my appreciation for the contribution that Alun Davies has undoubtedly made to the work of the government during his time in office.”

The first minister has split Davies’ portfolio among other ministers.

Edwina Hart, minister for economy, science and transport will take over responsibility for agriculture, fisheries and food, supported by Rebecca Evans as deputy minister for agriculture and fisheries.

Minister for environment and sustainable development John Griffiths will take over responsibility for environment policy.

Alun Davies, who remains an Assembly Member for Blaenau Gwent constituency, said: “I’m remaining absolutely focused on Blaenau Gwent. As I said when I was elected, Blaenau Gwent comes first, second and third.”

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