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Leader of Welsh Conservatives quits following alcohol row

Leader of Welsh Conservatives quits following alcohol row

Paul Davies has resigned as the Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament after being seen drinking in the Senedd during an alcohol ban.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Davies said he was stepping down "for the sake of my party, my health and my own conscience", saying he would leave his role with "immediate effect". Mr Davies will still remain a Member of the Senedd (MS). 

From 4 December 2020, pubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales were banned from serving alcohol as part of new rules to tackle a rise in Coronavirus infections. However, an investigation by Senedd authorities found that four members of the Parliament consumed alcohol in on-site licensed tearooms during the alcohol ban.

The matter has been referred to Cardiff Council due to the investigation concluding that it represented "a possible breach" of Wales' Coronavirus regulations. Mr Davies has denied allegations that he broke COVID-19 regulations.

The chief whip of the Welsh Conservatives Darren Millar MS has also announced his resignation, while Labour MS Alun Davies has been suspended by his party as a result of the incident. 

A number of politicians and people in the public eye during the Coronavirus pandemic have admitted to, or have been suspected of breaking Coronavirus regulations and advice in different parts of the UK. Notably, Scotland's then-chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood resigned last April after images emerged of her appearing to break lockdown guidance, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former chief adviser Dominic Cummings hit the headlines after it emerged he had travelled 260 miles during lockdown last March.

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