An AM may be in breach of Welsh Assembly rules by failing to declare that he employs a family member, according to BBC Wales.
David Rowlands, who recently defected from UKIP to the Brexit Party, employs two members of his family among his support staff. But while his wife Keryn is declared on his register of interests, his daughter Rhiannon is not. An aide of Mr Rowlands took the blame for the notification not being made. Plaid Cymru called for Mr Rowlands to refer himself to the assembly’s standards body.
David Rowlands, who sits on the commission which controls the day-to-day running of the assembly estate, was one of the four new Brexit Party AMs. Assembly rules say AMs must declare any family members whose salaries come from the public purse. They have four weeks from the first salary payment to make the declaration.
BBC sources say Ms Rowlands has been employed by her father for more than a year. The assembly’s rules make it clear that it is the responsibility of AMs to declare such matters on their Register of Interests. Employment of relatives by elected members of British parliaments, funded by public money, has been the subject of controversy.
AMs can no longer take on family members as new employees after changes that came into force in April.
Plaid Cymru has banned AMs from employing family members. The party’s Rhun ap Iorwerth told BBC Wales,
In terms of sticking to the rules, if you do do it, you have to register it and David Rowlands, who has registered the employment of his wife, has not registered the employment of his daughter. It’s in breach of the standing order – clearly that has to now be the subject of an enquiry by the standards committee here.
I would expect that maybe David Rowlands would want to refer himself [to the committee]. If you break those rules you have to take responsibility for yourself and you have to expect the consequences when you don’t stick to them.