PLAID AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has this afternoon welcomed Labour AM Keith Davies's call for the suspension of Carmarthenshire Council’s Chief Executive, Mark James.

The veteran Llanelli AM had earlier become the first Labour politician to call for Mr James's immediate suspension in the wake of the Wales Audit Office's damning public interest reports.

"We are pleased at least somebody in the Labour party – eight days after the damning reports were published – has finally recognised the severity of the reports’ conclusions," said Mr Thomas.

" We note, however, that Keith Davies has nothing to say on his Labour colleagues’ unlawful decision to approve the use of public money to fund the Chief Executive’s legal costs.

“Council Leader Kevin Madge and the rest of the Executive Board are extremely isolated now as they continue to pledge their full support to the council officers.

“Officers must be held to account, but it is too simplistic for Keith Davies to say officers misled elected members. The elected leadership is weak and incompetent, and have proved themselves incapable of carrying out their jobs properly. They must take political responsibility for the unlawful decisions they took.

“As the splits in the Labour party start to widen, what is clear in Carmarthenshire is that only Plaid Cymru is prepared to uphold the integrity of the Wales Audit Office for the good of the county.

“By disputing the independent reports, Kevin Madge and the Labour party are willing to sign a blank cheque to use more taxpayers’ money in court.

"Plaid Cymru will continue to stand up for Carmarthenshire ratepayers and continues to believe, as we have from day one, that officers should go and executive board members should resign.”