Who is Alun Cairns and why did he quit as Welsh Secretary?


ALUN Cairns has resigned from his position as Welsh Secretary over claims he previously knew about a former aides role in the sabotage of a rape trial.

Cairns had held the Cabinet post since March 2016.

Alun Cairn, left, with Ross England

Who is Alun Cairns?

Cairns was born in Swansea on July 30, 1970 and grew up in the village of Clydach.

He went on to complete an MBA at the University of Wales, Newport and joined Lloyds Bank in 1989.

Cairns first stood as a candidate for parliament in 1997 when he stood in the Gower constituency but lost to Labour but was elected to the Welsh Assembly for South Wales West two years later.

Following other unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the Commons, he finally was elected as the MP for the Vale of Glamorgan in 2010, taking the seat from Labour.

He was later part of the Curry Club, a group of Tories which was set up in 2010 which claimed to be independently minded but not hostile to the then Prime Minister David Cameron.

During the EU referendum in 2016 he supported the Remain campaign.

He married his wife Emma in 1996 and they have one son.

He is a keen marathon runner and has competed in the London marathon seven times with a personal best time of 3 hours and 28 minutes.

Cairns with Nicky Morgan outside Downing St in October 2019

Why did he quit as Welsh Secretary?

Cairns resigned over a row about a collapsed rape trial and was accused of brazenly lying about when he found out a former aide had sabotaged a rape trial.

Cairns denied knowing Ross England made claims about a victims sexual history that caused the trial to be abandoned in 2018 until the story broke last week.

But a leaked email revealed he knew about the allegation in August 2018 four months before he backed Mr England to be a Tory candidate for the Welsh Assembly.

In his resignation letter to the PM, he said: “You will be aware of allegations relating to the actions of a party employee and candidate for the Welsh assembly elections in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“This is a very sensitive matter, and in light of continued speculation, I write to tender my resignation as secretary of state for Wales.

“I will co-operate in full with the investigation under the Ministerial Code which will now take place and I am confident I will be cleared of any breach or wrong doing.”

Christina Rees, shadow Welsh secretary, accused Mr Cairns of “brazenly lying”.