STATEMENT: Joyce Watson AM calls for Alun Cairns to stand down as Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan

Responding to Alun Cairns’ resignation as Secretary of State for Wales, Joyce Watson AM called for him to stand down as Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan.

Speaking in the National Assembly for Wales, Joyce Watson AM said:

“I would call on Alun Cairns to do the right thing, because it appears that he stood by somebody in the full knowledge of what that individual did, in making that woman go through a second trial.”

Mrs Watson, who is a leading campaigner on violence against women, added that Mr Cairns appeared to lie about it when the story was first published.

“Alun Cairns ought to give up his position because he doesn’t, in my opinion, qualify to represent anybody any more in public office. Can you imagine how he’s going to handle similar cases that might come to him in the future?”

Mrs Watson spoke about the damage this high profile case has done to the prospect of women coming forward to report sexual assaults. She said:

“At a time when there is already an extremely low rate of successful rape trials and prosecutions in the UK and in Wales, I think there is a strong risk that this high-profile case could further diminish any prospect of women wanting to put themselves through this.

“This could send a message to women who are considering coming forward to report rape that their trauma may be used to vilify them and that the case could collapse, as in this case.”