The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has attacked the Welsh First Minister's decision to block an enquiry into bullying in the Welsh Assembly.

First Minister Carwyn Jones whipped his cabinet and Labour Assembly Members (AMs) to block an enquiry exploring allegations of bullying during a vote in the Assembly last week, defeating a motion from every opposition party that these accusations be investigated.

It was announced yesterday that he is instead launching an investigation led by the permanent secretary into allegations that the sacking of Carl Sargeant, the former communities secretary who took his own life, was leaked to the press before he knew about it.

"A staggering conflict of interest"

Andrew RT Davies AM, the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party, told Blasting News: "For the First Minister to vote against a cross-party investigation into allegations levelled against his own office is a staggering conflict of interest.

"It's not unreasonable to ask what the purpose of this committee is, if the First Minister effectively has a veto into what it can look at.

"We had every confidence in the impartiality of the committee and its Labour chair to look at these serious allegations with objectivity, but the First Minister's decision to 'whip' his AMs to block an enquiry was an insult to Welsh democracy.

"I'm deeply disappointed that the First Minister and his cabinet unanimously voted against a reasonable request supported by every opposition party in the Assembly.

It rather leaves you with a feeling that we are living in a one party state."

Prior to last week's vote, the First Minister insisted to AMs that he never encountered any specific accusation of bullying. He said he only settled complaints of people feeling favoured.

He is under pressure to disclose whether he was aware of bullying allegations made in 2014 by an ex-special advisor and a former minister.

"A dark day indeed for the National Assembly of Wales"

On November 29th, Welsh Labour voted against a motion that the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister should investigate the claims.

Welsh Conservative Business Manager, Paul Davies, said: "Carwyn Jones' decision to whip this vote sends a powerful message to the people of Wales that the committee charged with scrutinising his role only does so when it suits him.

"It is absolutely vital that these allegations are properly investigated so that they can be upheld or disproved. The scope should be as wide as possible and take evidence from witnesses.

"And whilst that avenue has now closed, we will now fight to ensure that government ministers are free from 'collective responsibility' and able to cooperate fully with any future enquiry.

"This is a dark day indeed for the National Assembly of Wales."

UKIP Wales Leader Neil Hamilton said during the vote: "Is this what democracy in Wales has come to?"

"It is morally indefensible that Carwyn Jones voted to save his own skin. It is equally indefensible that double-jobbing Nathan Gill chose to go to Brussels, where MEPs can claim an allowance of £300 a day, rather than do his duty as an AM."

"The campaign had been going on for several years"

Wales Online reported last week that former public services minister Leighton Andrews wrote a controversial blog accusing some politicians of a long-term campaign in the Welsh Government to undermine Carl Sargeant.

He claimed the campaign had been going on for several years.

Mr. Andrews, who conducted Carwyn Jones' campaign to become Welsh Labour leader in 2009, described Cardiff Bay's atmosphere as toxic.

He said there were too many mind games, minor bullying, power games, inconsistency of treatment to different ministers and favourtism.

He wrote that he made a complaint in 2014, but nothing was done about it. The former education minister disclosed that Mr. Sargeant was the target of disinformation.

Former aide Steve Jones verified the former public services minister's claims of a toxic environment. He also attempted to complain to the First Minister who was unwilling to address the culture that existed within his own office.

A Welsh Government spokesperson was approached for comment by Blasting News, but they refused to do so.