This morning’s Western Mail reports that South Wales Police have confirmed they are reviewing evidence in a case where they decided not even to interview Stephen Doughty MP – who subsequently admitted complicity in a criminal offence by asking a constituent to supply him with Diazepam, a prescription-only drug.
The Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty claimed in a press statement that he had only asked Byron Long for Diazepam tablets in advance of a flight he intended to take in order to help him with his mental health difficulties. He told the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner this was a one-time occurrence, and that in any event, he had not taken the tablet. Guido has reason to believe this is not the full truth.
Guido has obtained the extraordinary report which resulted in Byron Long, a long-standing friend of Doughty who was also a constituent, receiving a caution. Written last June, the police report signed off by Michael Healey – and reviewed by other senior officers – claims Stephen Doughty had made an apology in the House of Commons in the presence of barristers and the Speaker, none of whom expressed the view that he should be dealt with criminally. The officer concluded that, as a result, Doughty should not be interviewed by the police about the matter. None of this actually happened, nor would there have been any bearing on a charging decision for a criminal offence.
Byron Long was given a police caution for supplying the Diazepam, something Stephen Doughty admits he initiated, and despite being complicit in the criminal offence of procuring a prescription drug he has not even questioned. This is extraordinary given the police received an allegation that over a 2 year period Doughty had obtained, in the same manner, 140 Diazepam pills. The police didn’t even ask Doughty to deny the allegation. Incredulous Welsh Labour Party sources point out that Alun Michael is the serving South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner. The former First Secretary of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party is a close friend of Doughty’s father, and Stephen Doughty is himself a protege of Alun Michael, who assisted Doughty in getting his seat. Senior police officers would not be unaware of the Commissioner’s political relationship.
Yesterday Guido asked Starmer’s office if he still had full confidence in his frontbencher – they declined to respond. Doughty himself is being evasive, citing mental health issues.