Monitor: Reaction to Ron Davies's resignation from the Cabinet

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The Independent Culture
HOWEVER LAUDABLE may be the speed of his decision to quite as Welsh Secretary after an unwise encounter with a stranger, his reasons for so melodramatically triggering what looks to be the ruin of his career remain about as transparent as a Dickensian fog. If he could bring himself to be more forthright, perhaps he would be more deserving of sympathy.

Daily Mail

IN POLITICAL terms, Mr Davies was doubtless right to resign. Had he not done so, the unwinding of the incident might have dismally and intrusively prolonged and ended up with his resignation anyway. But that doesn't mean we have yet found the right dividing line between public duties and private lifestyles. Politics is a tough and stressful life without, it appears, any role for compassion.

The Guardian

DOWNING STREET said that Mr Davies had denied that there was any sexual aspect to the incident. So why did he go, and why, if he is not good enough for the Cabinet, does he remain fit to be a leader of the Labour Party in Wales?

The Daily Telegraph

HUMAN FRAILTY makes no exception for politicians. Blair's pre-emptive action should minimise the damage to the Government. The message from Number 10 was that Blair had lived up to his promise to act decisively on such occasions. Alun Michael is an able successor. There should also be some sympathy for Mr Davies - and more for his family. They have paid a high price for the lapse in his personal behaviour.

Financial Times

WHY WAS Ron Davies wandering alone on Clapham Common at night? And in a notorious gay haunt? Why did he talk to a strange man? And why did he give him a lift to meet other men? Mr Davies has not even begun to offer answers to any of those questions. It is not as if he was any man when he did those bizarre things. He was a member of the Cabinet. Had he really got nothing better to do with his time?

The Mirror

WHATEVER THE truth over the resignation of Ron Davies, he acted decently in leaving the Government at once. Under the Tories, we became used to excuses and obfuscation when ministers embarrassed the government. Yesterday's quick resignation will ensure the least possible hurt to the Labour administration and Mr Davies's family.

The Express