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Tuesday, October 27, 1998 Published at 17:03 GMT


UK Politics

Davies and Blair's words of sorrow


The full text of the letters exchanged between Ron Davies, who has resigned as Welsh Secretary, and the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Prime Minister,

Thank you for seeing me this morning and for being so understanding in what are very difficult circumstances for me and my family.

As I explained, because of a serious lapse of judgment that I have made, I wish to offer my resignation as Secretary of State for Wales.

After driving back from Wales last night, I parked my car near to my home in south London. I went for a walk on Clapham Common.

Whilst walking, I was approached by a man I had never met before who engaged me in conversation. After talking for some minutes he asked me to accompany him and two of his friends to his flat for a meal.

We drove, in my car, to collect his friends, one male, one female. Shortly afterwards, the man produced a knife and together with his male companion robbed me and stole my car, leaving me standing at the roadside.

I reported this matter immediately to the police. In allowing myself to be placed in this situation, with people I had never met and about whom I knew nothing, I did something very foolish.

That is a serious lapse of judgment on my part. The whole incident will inevitably cause embarrassment not only to me and the government, but, most important, to my family.

I wish, therefore, in the interests of the government which I have been so proud to serve, to tender my resignation forthwith.

I believe it is the only sensible course. I was proud that you placed your trust in me to deliver on our pledge to establish a Welsh Assembly, and that this is so close to becoming a reality.

I will continue to give you and my successor as welsh secretary all the support and goodwill that I can as the government continues to implement the programme of modernisation on which we were elected.

RD

The prime minister replied:

Dear Ron,

Thank you for coming to see me this morning in what are clearly such difficult times for you and for Chris (Mr Davies' wife Christina).

Given the situation you described, I accept your decision to resign. I do so with a real sense of sadness.

You have done an excellent job for the people of Wales, particularly in the way you have prepared for the establishment of the Welsh Assembly.

I am grateful for your continuing offer of support, and I know that your successor will be grateful for your help and advice.

Many people will share the profound sympathy I feel, that your Cabinet career has come to and end in this way.

Yours Ever, Tony



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