Matt Withers in Wales on Sunday followed it up:
WELSH Secretary Peter Hain’s top advisor has quit amid political gossip that he had been campaigning for his boss to become Labour’s Deputy Leader.
Phil Taylor, who advises Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Hain on devolution issues across the water, is to step down from his position to concentrate on his boss’ race for the number two position.
Mr Taylor asked for unpaid leave on Thursday, the same day a political gossip website claimed Mr Taylor had already been involved in the campaign.
As a taxpayer-funded civil servant, this would have broken Cabinet Office rules. Special advisors are not allowed to get involved in leadership battles.
The Northern Ireland Office has confirmed Mr Taylor’s departure.
Mr Taylor said: “It is true that I intend to leave at the end of the month which is when we hope to have a devolved government in place at Stormont. I have been asked to help out in the campaign and that is what I will do.”
- On Thursday you told Guido you had already informed the permanent secretary that you intended to resign and that this sacrifice would cost you your termination payment, how did this on Friday become you were taking unpaid leave at the end-of-the-month?
- According to reports, you only told the permanent secretary of your intention last Thursday, when you knew Guido was trying to contact you – when did you formally tell the permanent secretary?
- Guido has been given a number of Hain4Labour campaign documents that place you at various locations at various times. Guido is confident that it will be found through FoI requests that you were not on leave. Do you have any explanation?
Incidentally, to Guido’s new fans in the Welsh Labour Party, it was a pleasure.
*PA and the Belfast Telegraph also reported he was resigning.