Alun Cairns resigns as Welsh Secretary in rape trial 'sabotage' row

6 November 2019, 12:34

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns in Downing Street
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns in Downing Street. Picture: PA

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has resigned amid claims he knew about a former aide’s role in the ‘sabotage’ of a rape trial.

Mr Cairns had faced calls to resign after being accused of lying about his knowledge of an allegation that a Conservative candidate had sabotaged a rape trial.

He had been accused of "brazenly lying" about his knowledge of an allegation that former staff member Ross England had a role in a trial which collapsed.

In a letter to the prime minister, Mr Cairns wrote: "You will be aware of allegations relating to the actions of a Party employee and candidate for the Welsh Assembly elections in the Vale of Glamorgan."

This is a very sensitive matter, and in light of continued speculation, I write to tender my resignation as Secretary of State for Wales.

"I will cooperate in full with the investigation under the Ministerial Code which will now take place and I am confident I will be cleared of any breach or wrong doing."

Mr Cairns said it had been "an honour" to serve in the Government and said he will continue to support Boris Johnson's "vision and ambitions for the country."

Mr Cairns claims he had been unaware of former staff member Ross England's role in the collapsed trial until after the story broke last week.

But the BBC said it had obtained a leaked email that showed Mr Cairns had been made aware of the allegations as early as August last year.