Monday, 15 September 2014

Cllr David Lewis and Leighton Andrews

In view of the welcome back into the Welsh Government fold of Leighton Andrews AM, Councillor David Lewis's recent letter to the Neath Ferret about the history of his dismissal from the Neath Port Talbot cabinet, and thereafter of the Labour Party, is of interest. He starts by referring to previous correspondence on the Neath Ferret web site, then continues:

As you are aware I have a penalty clause hanging over my head on length of post so you have much more research to do to fill in the gaps . If you choose!
Behind his "retirement" announcement there is no reference to The First Minister, Carwyn Jones receiving at 3.20 on a Monday afternoon an email from me in my capacity as Acting Chairman of WJEC -the examination Board. It was a lengthy letter which was highly critical of the behaviour of Mr Andrews over a 6 month period. Further, there is no reference to Mr Andrews being summoned to The First Minister's office on the following afternoon before the announcement of his 'retirement'.
The full text of my email was sent the next day to the Western Mail and BBC Wales. In telling a WM reporter that the letter was on its way she displayed real interest. They have never published a word!
I pushed the BBC and eventually -months later- I underwent a two hour interview on camera by their Education Correspondent. He questioned me very closely with requests for written evidence of my comments/allegations. All WJEC committee minutes and correspondence were produced with the reporter clearly reflecting on the seriousness of the evidence.
BBC Wales eventually ran the article on radio and TV. My two hour interview was reduced to a 10-15 second sound bite with no reference to the damming detail. Leighton Andrews in response was interviewed on camera for several minutes where he ridiculed myself, the WJEC board and its functioning over the previous 9 months. He was not cross examined at any point.
The Western Mail has never ever printed a word.
Then we come to the local rag the Evening Post. My sacking from the NPT Cabinet came as a shock to my colleagues in the Labour Group. The Leader - My Pal for many years (sic) refused to answer questions on his reason for my sacking! I decided to write to each member of the Labour Group with an account of events leading up to and then the sacking interview. It was a private and confidential letter.
One of them leaked the letter to the Post. The letter was probably four pages long. A reporter called Geraint Thomas was given the task of developing the article. Out of the mass of information he chose that one juicy line about my inappropriate posture. He asked the Leader AHT and Cllr Mark Jones for a comment. But not me! I was never offered any opportunity to put my case. The Evening Post has never published a single word of substance of one of the most sickening events in Welsh Education History. They have chapter and verse!
In my experience Journalists/journalism are/is the low life and real plague on society.

PS. Most of my constituents are aware of these matters
Posted by dAvid lEwis on 10 September 2014

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