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Dawn Bowden: Minister's rugby statement 'not correct' but did not break code, investigation finds

A statement by a Welsh government minister was "not correct" but it did not break the ministerial code, an investigation has found.

Dawn Bowden, Wales's deputy minister for arts, sport and tourism, referred herself to the ethics advisor after a Labour MP accused her of making "inaccurate claims" during an interview.

The MP for Gower, Tonia Antoniazzi, said Ms Bowden had been made aware of allegations of sexism and misogyny within the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in early 2022.

But Ms Bowden told the BBC's Politics Wales programme last month that Ms Antoniazzi was telling her things "in very general terms".

The deputy minister said during her interview that she had asked Ms Antoniazzi for the details of those making the allegations "in confidence".

"Now that never materialised, I never got that," she added.

But Ms Antoniazzi said in a statement that she did share "contact details of the women affected who were willing to meet with [Ms Bowden]".

Ethics director David Richards concluded in his report that Ms Bowden "should not have said" she hadn't been given names by Ms Antoniazzi as "that was not correct".

But Mr Richards said this was one of a number of matters in a "fast-paced and wide-ranging interview".

He said the deputy minister's "misstatement" did not amount to "untruthfulness".

He also found that it was not a breach of the ministerial code.

"I do not think that the deputy minister was deliberately trying to mislead and I think that the thrust of what the deputy minister said in her interview was an honest representation of the exchanges which she had with the member for the Gower," Mr Richards added.

"I do not believe that the deputy minister was seeking deliberately to mislead or be untruthful in her comments and therefore that the ministerial code has not been breached."

First minister Mark Drakeford said he had accepted the report and its findings.

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An independent review of the culture within the WRU was conducted after a BBC investigation into the allegations prompted its chief executive to step aside.

The damning report found a "toxic" and "vindictive" culture at the union.

The new chief executive of Welsh rugby's governing body - the first woman in the role - started in her post this month.