Monitor: The resignation of Ron Davies - A walk on the wild side

Reactions to the news that the former Secretary of State for Wales has quit his post after being robbed in south London

Daily Mail

IT IS impossible - as indeed it would be unwise - to separate totally a politician's private conduct from his public life. Whether homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, what can damn those entrusted with high office is when they indulge in reckless, corrupting and promiscuous behaviour. People recognise this when they see it and they have every right to be told about it. In that respect, a homosexual minister who goes cottaging is as deserving of censure as a heterosexual magistrate who goes kerb- crawling.

u

The Mirror

THE BEST thing that can be said of Ron Davies is that he went quickly. But there are too many unanswered questions about his behaviour to allow for more praise than that. Why was he 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? And if, as Downing Street says, there were no sexual motives in his actions, why did he do them? Tony Blair wants a clean, sleaze-free administration. The speed of Ron Davies's exit shows that the Prime Minister will not tolerate anyone breaking his high standards. But if there are others in the Government who have uncontrollable urges, such as talking to strangers on a common and offering them lifts, they should go now. Not wait until they are caught in a stupid and embarrassing situation.

u

The Birmingham Post

DOWNING STREET intimated that it had not been told the full story surrounding why Mr Ron Davies resigned. It is almost impossible to believe that the Prime Minister's spin doctors were not aware of all the issues surrounding Mr Davies's departure. Indeed, the Welsh Secretary was accompanied by the Prime Minister's press secretary, Alastair Campbell, when he gave his one and only television interview on the subject. That being the case, Downing Street's intimations of ignorance sound more like attempts to deflect questioning rather than expressions of the naked truth. Now that three people have been arrested, no doubt the spin doctors will hide behind the old favourite: "It's all sub judice, we can't possibly comment."

The Daily Telegraph

AS WELSH Secretary, Mr Davies acquired a reputation for being a bit of a political thug, especially among Labour backbenchers who had the temerity to disagree with him. In the authorised version of Monday's events, by contrast, he emerges as a trusting man, open and friendly towards his fellow citizens. This is unusual among ministers, but surely not a resigning matter. Yesterday, 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 leader of the Labour Party in Wales? Committed as it is to openness, the Government is presumably telling us the whole story. It is all very odd, though: Mr Davies appears to be going because he was robbed. The Prime Minister seems to be "tough on crime, tough on the victims of crime".

u

Daily Star

FOR ALL anyone knows or cares, the entire Cabinet, Parliament, the House of Lords and the judiciary could be closet gays. What they do in private, and who they do it with, is entirely a matter for them. It is only when their personal conduct spills into the public domain through their own bad judgement and downright stupidity that it becomes a matter for wider discussion. That is why it is abhorrent for the homosexual former Tory MP Matthew Parris to "out" the Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson on television for allegedly being gay. The inference was: if the disgraced Ron Davies has to resign for mixing with gays, why shouldn't Peter Mandelson. But simply being gay isn't the issue. Davies had to go because on his own admission he was a bloody fool. His sexual preferences, whatever they may be, don't come into it. Nor should anyone else's.

u

The Times

THERE IS, at the moment, considerable sympathy for Mr Davies. The public are inclined to forgive a capable politician a moment of impetuosity. But their sympathy may begin to evaporate if they feel that Tuesday's resignation was a tactical feint, intended to buy time and not make amends. The public will respect Mr Davies's desire to protect what remains of his privacy. But if it is his future ambitions rather than domestic peace which seems to govern Mr Davies's calculations both he, and his party, may pay a price.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor