'Bullying and toxicity' in Welsh Government, says ex-aide

From BBC - November 12, 2017

Fresh claims about bullying in the Welsh Government have been made by a former adviser to Wales' first minister.

Steve Jones said he agreed with former cabinet minister Leighton Andrews, who has described a "toxic" atmosphere at the top of the administration.

They spoke out following the death of sacked former communities minister Carl Sargeant who was found dead on Tuesday.

The Welsh Government said it did not recognise Mr Jones's claims.

Mr Sargeant was found dead at home four days after being sacked by First Minister Carwyn Jones over allegations of improper conduct towards women.

Before leaving the Welsh Government in September 2014, Steve Jones was a media adviser for the first minister and also worked on his Labour leadership campaign.

In a statement, he said he agreed entirely with Mr Andrew's description of "toxicity" in the government and said that the behaviour of some was "pure poison".

"Ministers were undermined by senior advisers playing power games and seeking to exert unreasonable control over government and the first minister himself," he said.

Some ministers, including Mr Sargeant, "would have their diaries unreasonably monitored and questioned, their policy proposals shelved and direct access to the first minister blocked".


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