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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 19:13 GMT
Davies defiant over sex claims
Ron Davies AM
Ron Davies continues to deny the allegations
Under-fire Ron Davies is determined to stand in May's election to the Welsh Assembly - despite tabloid claims he had sex with a stranger in public woodland.

The Caerphilly AM met the Wales Labour Party general secretary on Thursday afternoon to discuss his future.

He earlier denied being anywhere near the Bath picnic area The Sun claimed he used for a sex act with a man - but he later admitted he had gone for a short walk in the area.

There is now little sympathy for the former Welsh Secretary at Westminster, with one senior Labour MP anonymously exclaiming: "Enough is enough".

Altered

Mr Davies continues to deny claims he engaged the act at the Tog Hill site on Monday morning when he stopped en route to London, where he was due to deliver a talk.

UNFOLDING EVENTS
Tuesday:
  • The Sun prints photos claiming Mr Davies had gay sex in woods near Bath on Monday.
  • He denies being anywhere near the location.
    Wednesday:
  • The Sun prints timings of alleged incident and new photos.
  • Mr Davies admits he did stop at the site, but again denies sex claim.
  • Support for the Caerphilly AM mixed amongst local members.
    Thursday:
  • Mr Davies meets Wales Labour Party boss to explain reports.
  • He says he is determined to stand for re-election.
  • But the fact he altered his statement to say he was at the site has left some national and local members seeking answers.

    Mr Davies drove away from a two-hour meeting with Wales Labour Party General Secretary Jessica Morden and two executive officers on Thursday evening without saying anything more.

    The party said it had "a cordial and frank conversation ... to discuss the controversy surrounding his position".

    "Both sides have now agreed to reflect on what was said over the next few days to reach a conclusion," continued a statement.

    Caerphilly party bosses will also meet Mr Davies at 1730 GMT on Friday to seek an explanation.

    'Dreadful'

    Mr Davies told BBC Wales' politics show Dragon's Eye he felt like a "hunted animal".

    "This week has been dreadful. I don't think people who read the tabloid newspapers realise the impact that this sort of issue has on the private lives of individuals," he said.

    Ron Davies as Welsh Secretary leaves the Welsh Office, Cardiff
    You can't sleep, you can't eat, you're trying to respond to allegations that you're not aware of
    Ron Davies AM
    "You can't sleep, you can't eat, you're trying to deal with so many media enquiries, you're trying to respond to allegations that you're not aware of.

    "I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of people will say, whatever the tittle tattle, the issue for us is to elect someone who can represent us who is approachable ... and someone that we know will do the job properly."

    But the pressure from within his own party is now immense, one senior Labour MP saying: "Enough is enough."

    "That's the consensus [at Westminster]. The issue now is that he lied.

    "The most important people are his constituency Labour Party. They've suffered enough and deserve someone better".

    'Concern'

    Another Labour MP said: "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.

    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 some party members in Bargoed, Rhymney Valley, have already called for his resignation.

    History

    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
    Ron Davies AM
    "I had some tea and needed the lavatory"



    SEE ALSO:
    Davies facing party questions
    06 Mar 03 |  Wales
    Ron Davies confirms bisexuality
    13 Jun 99 |  Europe
    My 'moment of madness'
    31 Oct 98 |  Politics


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