20 October 1999
‘Sexism’ worry over Gwyther row

THE presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly says he is concerned about the “undertone of sexism” during Tuesdays censure debate on embattled agriculture secretary Christine Gwyther.

Dafydd Elis-Thomas told BBC Wales: “There was a bit of aggression around yesterday.

“And there was, I thought, and element of sexism in relation to the agriculture secretary.”

He also said that the use of the censure motion was not appropriate and a waste of Assembly time.

Ms Gwyther has refused to resign despite the vote of censure which was brought after she failed to secure a Wales-only calf processing aid scheme.

Opposition parties say Ms Gwyther blundered in her attempt, which was rejected by European agricultural commissioner Franz Fischler.

Assembly First Secretary Alun Michael has said that he and his Labour cabinet were standing firmly Ms Gwyther.

Ms Gwyther said she had received support from the agricultural industry in Wales who found the censure method “abhorrent.”