Alun Cairns resigns as Secretary of State for Wales
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has resigned after being accused of lying about his knowledge that a former aide “sabotaged” a rape trial.
Ross England, who worked for Cairns and was picked as a Welsh Assembly election candidate in 2018, made claims about the victim's sexual history in an April 2018 trial which led to its collapse.
Cairns denied knowing about this but the BBC revealed he had been sent an email in August 2018 mentioning the matter.
In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Mr Cairns said he was confident that he will be cleared after a full investigation.
In his resignation letter, Cairns said: “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 co-operate 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 wrongdoing.”
He added that it has been an honour to serve in Boris Johnson’s government, and praised the “positive steps” the prime minister had made in that time.
“Your work to secure a deal to leave the European Union has been extraordinary and the opportunities it brings are exciting for all parts of the country," he said.
"I will continue to work to support your vision and ambitions for the country and am grateful for the honour of serving in your cabinet."
The Prime Minister said he was pleased to hear Cairns will cooperate fully with the Cabinet Office during this process.
In his response to the resignation letter, he wrote: “I am extremely grateful for all the work you have done in the role as Secretary of State since March 2016. In particular, I would like to put on record my gratitude for all the support you have given to this government in ensuring we honour the commitment to the people that we leave the European Union.”
Today is the first official day of campaigning as voters prepare to go to the polls on December 12. Boris Johnson is due to launch the Conservatives campaign shortly.