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Last Updated:  Saturday, 8 March, 2003, 14:24 GMT
Davies' future hangs in balance
Ron Davies AM
Ron Davies continues to deny the allegations
Ron Davies' political future is still hanging in the balance after crunch talks with local Labour party bosses.

The former Welsh Secretary is under pressure after revising his response to tabloid claims he engaged in a woodland sex encounter on Monday.

He emerged from a "frank and very amicable" Friday-night meeting with senior Caerphilly constituency officers claiming he was still their choice for candidature at May's Welsh Assembly election.

They vowed to prioritise a united campaign to win the seat - but will make a final decision on Mr Davies' future within two or three days after reflecting over the weekend.

Bemused

Support for the "architect of devolution" has been mixed since The Sun's reports this week, with sympathy dwindling from some quarters of Westminster.

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.
    Friday:
  • Meets Caerphilly Labour chairman and officers.

  • Mr Davies denies claims he engaged in the sex act with a man when he stopped near Bath en route to London on Monday morning.

    But the fact he altered his statement to say he stretched his legs there - and had previously gone badger-spotting - has left some colleagues bemused.

    The AM met local party chairman Jeff Cuthbert and other officers Friday at 1730 GMT to explain the situation.

    But there is no resolution yet and Mr Davies did not resign.

    'Unity'

    Mr Cuthbert said: "It was agreed that the priority was to ensure that [we] fight a vigorous and united campaign to ensure a Labour victory in Caerphilly and an overall majority in the assembly.

    Ron Davies as Welsh Secretary in the Welsh Office
    This week has been dreadful - you can't sleep
    Ron Davies AM
    "All would consider how that could best be achieved. No further comment would be made pending the outcome of deliberations."

    He added Mr Davies, who has represented the seat since 1983, clearly understood their views. Earlier, he had said "some form of decision" about Mr Davies' future would result from the meeting.

    The Wales Labour Party is also reflecting on the situation after Mr Davies met general secretary Jessica Morden on Thursday. The party must make candidate nominations by 1 April.

    'Very sad'

    The politician told BBC Wales' politics show Dragon's Eye he felt like a "hunted animal", claiming The Sun, which stands by its story, has been tracking him.

    Labour's Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: "This is a very sad situation and there has to be closure on it soon for the good of the labour party and for Ron's own good in the future, and I hope that will happen."

    In 1998, Mr Davies was forced to resign from his post as Secretary of State for Wales following a "moment of madness" on Clapham Common.

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




    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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