General Election 2019: Welsh Secretary resigns from cabinet after former aide linked to rape trial collapse

Alun Cairns.
Alun Cairns.
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Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has resigned after being accused of "brazenly lying" about his knowledge of an allegation that a Tory candidate had sabotaged a rape trial.

The Cabinet minister's decision to quit will rock the Conservative Party which is officially launching its election campaign on Wednesday.

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Cairns 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.

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"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 cooperate 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."

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Mr Cairns claims he had been unaware of former staff member Ross England's role in the collapsed trial until after the story broke last week.

BBC Wales said it had obtained a leaked email sent to Mr Cairns which showed he had been made aware of the allegations as early as August last year.