by Stephen Tall on February 12, 2009
Jenny Randerson AM, Welsh Lib Dem Assembly Member for Cardiff Central, has today lodged an official complaint against Wales’s First Minister Rhodri Morgan amid concerns he may have broken the Ministerial code when discussing school closures in Cardiff. Her letter of complaint was sent by Jenny to Wales’s First Minister Rhodri Morgan because, as she noted in her letter:
My enquiries have shown that I have no alternative to write to you yourself over this issue as the Ministerial Code does not make provision for how to complain about the First Minister, only Welsh Ministers as a whole. I trust that due to the loophole that has forced me to write to you, about you, you will pass my concerns on to an appropriate individual to investigate the case.
Below is the statement Jenny’s office has issued to the media:
During First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday, Rhodri Morgan AM claimed plans to reconfigure schools in Cardiff could lead to “ethnic polarisation.” Local Authorities’ plans for school reconfiguration have to be approved by the Education Minister and so by pre-judging the outcome in his role as First Minister, Mr Morgan has effectively prevented a member of his cabinet from making a decision in an open and fair manner.
Jenny Randerson said:
Rhodri’s comments were made during First Minister’s Questions and therefore it can not be argued that he was speaking as Assembly Member for Cardiff West. Across Wales, Local Authorities of all political colours are struggling to deal with the extremely emotive and controversial issues of school reorganisation and the First Minister must act impartially to allow them to approach these issues in a calm and fair way.
“I have not taken this decision lightly, but I believe that this must stop. As a holder of high office, he has a duty to that office and to the people of Wales to not act in a way that is inflammatory, and not to pre-empt decisions that must be taken by his cabinet, which does of course operate under rules of collective responsibility.
“The First Minister may well have broken the Ministerial code so I have asked for an investigation.”