Our satirical writer Edwin Phillips reads a defensive press release from the National Assembly for Wales, after news that the Standards Commissioner was forced to resign following reports that a damaging remark about an AM was secretly recorded.
TIME: TO BE CONFIRMED AFTER CONTACT IS MADE
FROM: WELSH ASSEMBLY NEWS KNOWLEDGE (WANK)
TO: ALL REGIONAL STAFF EDITORIAL (ARSE)
We at WANK note with displeasure the media’s coverage of the resignation of our esteemed Standards Commissioner Sir Roderick Evans after unfortunate comments were secretly recorded and then passed to the press.
Sir Roderick himself has said very accurately that a so-called ‘damaging remark’ was “taken out of context and misleading”.
The fact that it may to some have been seen as putting in question neutrality in the Standards department is neither here nor there.
As WANKERS we stress again Sir Roderick’s own statement, that this was ‘taken out of context’.
We also deplore the way this alleged ‘information’ was secured.
It is abhorrent that covert recordings of the extremely important Commissioner and his staff were made during breaks when the complainant was out of the room.
WANK endorse the actions by the police in investigating this whole incident and sweeping the assembly for other secret recording devices.
It is totally absurd to expect that the public should know information about what is happening just because they pay our wages.
It is completely irrelevant that Sir Roderick is Pro-Chancellor of a university which has attracted unwelcome headlines after the Vice-Chancellor Richard Davies and the Dean of his School of Management were first suspended then relieved of their duties for “gross misconduct”, and a police investigation was launched into alleged bribery in a multi-million pound land deal.
During the probe there (not dissimilar to our own), it seems that South Wales Police stated the regional crime unit executed “a number of warrants as part of an investigation into alleged bribery offences. Seven addresses in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, and Kent are being searched with the assistance of colleagues”.
As officials such as our own Sir Roderick may have known these followed a complaint from Swansea University to the Serious Fraud Office in late 2018 which was referred to the police, and centred on an extremely reasonable £250 million land re-development deal.
As has been truthfully reported the land deal, called the ‘Wellness’ village, had excellent aims – to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the area, as well as creating 2,000 high-quality jobs and boosting the economy by £467 million over 15 years.
It had been described by its backers as the “largest ever regeneration project in South West Wales”.
This is an accurate claim – the reported remark by our former Standards Commissioner was not as it was ‘taken out of context’…
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