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Hotel row AM Keith Davies 'brought assembly into disrepute'

Category: Wales

Published: 9th May 2012 15:33:46

An assembly member brought the Welsh assembly into disrepute after a late-night drunken row at a five-star hotel, an official report has found.

Llanelli AM Keith Davies has apologised after the incident at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff in April.

A report by the assembly's standards commissioner details Mr Davies's behaviour while staying at the hotel, initially paid for by the taxpayer.

Mr Davies has now settled the hotel bill himself.

Staff were subjected to "abuse and threats" from a female guest of Mr Davies's when they returned to the hotel after a night out at 04:45 BST on 24 April.

There were also numerous complaints from other guests about the noise from room 408, occupied by Mr Davies, a 71-year-old married father-of-two, and his guest.

The woman, who has not been identified, also made "foul-mouthed detrimental comments about the hotel... witnessed by numerous guests from the lobby", the report by Gerard Elias QC says.

It adds there had also been "an indication that the AM did not intend to pay the bill".

In a letter to the assembly's standards committee Labour AM Mr Davies admitted he was "adversely affected by alcohol" and his behaviour fell short of the conduct expected from an assembly member.

"I wholly regret the pain and discomfort which I have brought upon my family," Mr Davies wrote.

He has written to the hotel apologising and has settled his bill at the hotel where some AMs who do not live in Cardiff stay there when the assembly is sitting.

The cross-party standards committee unanimously agreed Mr Davies had committed a clear and serious breach of AMs' code of conduct and said he should be censured.

A motion asking AMs to endorse the recommendation will go before the Senedd chamber on 16 May.

Assembly rules mean AMs can only be suspended for breaching standards of conduct in relation to financial or other interests. Mr Davies' breach was "in relation to personal conduct", the report says.

The standards committee is separately considering the sanctions available as part of the on-going review. Any recommendations to will be brought before the assembly for consideration in due course, it says.

Mr Davies was first elected to the assembly last May at the age of 70, taking back Llanelli for the Labour Party from Plaid Cymru by 80 votes.

He qualified as a teacher before becoming a school inspector and subsequently became director of education for Mid Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire. He is a governor of two schools.

Labour has said it will conduct its own investigation.

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BBC News, 2012. Hotel row AM Keith Davies 'brought assembly into disrepute' [Online] (Updated 9th May 2012)
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