A Senedd member who was unable to take part in a crunch vote on Covid passes because he was at the Conservative Party conference has been denied the opportunity to make a statement in the Siambr. 

Gareth Davies earlier confirmed that he was the Senedd member who had been unable to log in and vote via Zoom in the decision on Covid passes for Wales. The government motion passed by just one vote. 

Beforehand, the Vale of Clwyd MS had said he would vote against the government but ended up not taking part. 

As members began voting on Tuesday evening, the Conservative MS Darren Miller pleaded with Llywydd Elin Jones to delay it for a member who was “desperately” trying to get on via Zoom. 

At the time, Llywydd Jones said every effort had been made to try and ensure the unnamed member could vote. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about getting a Covid pass in Wales

Earlier today, Mr Davies confirmed reports that he had been the member unable to vote, due to “IT challenges” and that he had been “working” at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. 

In the statement that was shared on Twitter by ITV Wales’ political editor Adrian Masters, Mr Davies said he would make a statement in the Senedd this afternoon. 

But the Llywydd said she had only been informed Mr Davies intended on making a statement at short notice and said she considered it to be already in the public domain as she said he had also released the statement to the media. 

 

The Llywydd also said it is for “every member” to ensure they are present, and to arrive in good time in order to take part in votes, adding “especially if they are voting from that place for the first time.” 

Late this afternoon the Welsh Conservatives released astatement which on behalf of Davies though it's understood it's not the same statement he had wanted to make in the Senedd.

Gareth Davies MS said in the statement released by his party: "I’m deeply upset, frustrated and angry at last night’s events and my inability to cast a vote against vaccine passports. 

"Yesterday evening, IT challenges meant that I was unable to access the voting system. 

"Throughout the voting period, I was speaking with the Chief Whip and Welsh Conservative staff members in an attempt to solve the IT issues.

"The Senedd currently operates under a hybrid system that means only half of our representatives can vote in the chamber, with others voting remotely from elsewhere.

"I was working and representing the Group at the Conservative Party conference and I would have been able to vote remotely if I’d have been able to access the remote voting tools."

Some opponents of the Covid pass scheme have said the vote should be re-run but the Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds haven’t argued for that. 

The Conservatives have said the Senedd should return to all members voting in person in the Siamber and in his statement Davies said the current system limits the numbers of members that can vote in person. 

READ MORE: Forging a Covid pass could be a specific offence in Wales

Jones also addressed the issue of protesters outside the Senedd. Some members were reportedly unable to leave the building following the contentious vote and some have complained about intimidation by people outside. She said members support the right to peaceful protest.

 

The Llywydd said: “Threats to members, staff and visitors are totally unacceptable and too many of you faced that last night.” 

She said Tuesday’s nights events will be reviewed by the relevant authorities who will update members. 

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