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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 16:04 GMT
Davies facing party questions
Ron Davies AM
Ron Davies continues to deny the allegations
Former Welsh secretary Ron Davies is meeting a senior member of the Welsh Labour party following allegations by The Sun newspaper that Mr Davies engaged in a sex act with a male stranger in public woodland

Wales Labour General Secretary Jessica Morden is questioning Mr Davies about the allegations and his response to them to examine whether he has brought the party into disrepute.

The principal officers of Mr Davies' constituency party in Caerphilly are also set to meet the AM at 1730 GMT Friday evening to discuss the events - some local party members have already called for his resignation.

The controversy unfolded on Tuesday when The Sun published pictures of Mr Davies in Tog Hill, near Bath.

They alleged he met a stranger in woodland there and participated in a sex act with him - a claim that Mr Davies still denies.

Mr Davies reacted immediately to the story telling BBC Wales there was "no substance whatsoever" in it.

The following day, Wednesday, The Sun published further photographs standing by their story "100%".

Crucially, having first denied he had been anywhere near this location, Mr Davies issued a statement changing his version of events.

He admitted that he had stopped there, went to the lavatory, and went for a short walk in the adjacent woodland. It was here that he was confronted by two individuals from The Sun.

Ron Davies at his wedding to Lynne Hughes
Mr Davies remarried last year

BBC Wales' parliamentary correspondent David Cornock reported there was little sympathy for Mr Davies among his former Westminster colleagues.

One senior Labour MP said: "Enough is enough. That's the consensus here. The issue now is that he lied.

"The most important people are his constituency Labour Party.

They've suffered enough and deserve someone better."

Another commented: "I don't see how he can continue and I think that is the consensus among MPs and the local party. He should call it a day."

Resignation calls

Caerphilly constituency party chairman Jeff Cuthbert said Mr Davies' apparent change of story was "a matter of concern".

With a Welsh Assembly election just two months away, Mr Davies' political survival career could depend on whether he can win the backing of his constituency colleagues.

But members of the party in Bargoed, Rhymney Valley - part of Mr Davies' constituency - have already started calling for his resignation.

David Lewis said: "I really think he should consider stepping out of politics because the basis of politics is you should be able to stand by and support the people who are representing you."

Headline allegations in The Sun
Ron Davies hit the headlines back in 1998
Mel Mayo, while making the point that Mr Davies had done "a hell of a lot" for the Rhymney Valley, added: "The people honour and respect him.

This is not the first time Mr Davies has found himself the subject of unwelcome tabloid headlines.

In 1998, he resigned from his post as secretary of state for Wales following a "moment of madness" on Clapham Common.

Having been dubbed the "architect of Welsh devolution", he stood down as Welsh secretary the following day.

Shortly afterwards he admitted to being bisexual and had psychiatric treatment for a compulsive disorder which attracted him to high-risk situations.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Wales' Mark Hannaby
"Ron Davies is adamant that he will stand as Labour's candidate."



SEE ALSO:
Ron Davies confirms bisexuality
13 Jun 99 |  Europe
My 'moment of madness'
31 Oct 98 |  Politics


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