News that a Conservative AM has will take a week off from his duties at the National Assembly to attend a prayer meeting in the United States.seems to be mutes
The Western Mule reports that
Darren Millar, who represents Clwyd West, will travel to Washington DC on Monday February 4 in advance of the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday February 7.
The day after he flies – February 5 – a meeting will be held in his absence of the Public Accounts committee, which he chairs. For chairing the committee, Mr Millar is paid £12,420 on top of his basic AM salary of £53,852.
Last night a spokesman for the Welsh Conservative group at the Assembly said Mr Millar had been granted permission to be absent for the final week before half term.
“He received an invitation to attend in his capacity as chair of the all-party Assembly faith group. It is a very prestigious event that will be attended by visitors from around 160 countries. He will be paying for the trip himself.
“Darren will not be commenting further,” said the spokesman
Western Mail January 25 2013
“This Tory AM’s constituents in Clwyd West will rightly be questioning how exactly their interests will be represented in the Assembly while he is in Washington for this meeting that has nothing to do with his work as an AM. Perhaps he is going there to discuss how families in Clwyd West will make ends meet following the massive cuts that his party in Westminster is imposing on them – but I doubt it."
“It is completely unacceptable that at a time when families are struggling financially in Wales, Darren Millar is off on a religious junket to the United States during term time.“AMs have ample opportunity to take trips during generous recess periods throughout the year. If Darren was promoting Wales at a political event or making some kind of advancement that might help his constituents in Clwyd West then perhaps it could be accepted, but fleeing abroad on some mission to find one’s inner spirit is just taking the biscuit.”Ibid
But even if Mr Gething visit was unofficial he could b seen as representing the Assembly there.
Still three's something rather pathetic about these anonymous sources which may be that they are loath to put a name to ant perceived criticism of a religious event.
But why should.t there be? Any other absence who have seen open comments from Welsh Politicians who would be eager to put they names to it.
It doesn't matter what Mr Miller attends . It is a private trip and it should not be taken during the time the Assembly is in session He is not even representing his party.
When Plaid AM's boycotted the Royal opening of Parliament they were criticised by other AM for not doing their Job including Darren Miller
It will be interesting to see the response of Tory AM to any absence of fellow members in the future.