Former Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has been cleared of breaching the ministerial code through statements about his knowledge of a member of his staff who made comments which led to a rape trial collapsing.
Ross England, who was also the Assembly candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, and someone Mr Cairns described as a "friend and colleague" made comments about a victim in a rape case at a trial which led to the trial collapsing.
A Government inquiry was ordered into whether Mr Cairns had lied when he said he did not know about Mr England's role in the trial.
Mr Cairns initially said he "had no knowledge of the role of Ross England" in the collapse of the trial but faced allegations that he had breached a rule for ministers that "holders of public office should be truthful".
A leaked email from his special advisor had suggested that the former Welsh Secretary had been told of his aide's role in the trial's collapse.
Sir Alex Allan's findings, published today say that he found it "unlikely that Mr Cairns would not have been told something about Mr England's role when he was told about the [trial's] collapse".
However he said that "all those involved state that they had not informed Mr Cairns of Mr England’s role, and there is no direct evidence to contradict this. On that basis, I do not find that the evidence upholds the allegations of a breach of the Ministerial Code."
Mr Cairns worked closely with his special adviser, Geraint Evans.
Sir Alex said Mr Evans "had had conversations with Mr England and who was more likely than not to have known about Mr England’s role though I accept that Mr Cairns’ Special Adviser would not necessarily have known the judge’s actual remarks."
Sir Alex said the issue is whether it is plausible that Mr Cairns could have been told about the collapse of the trial without inquiring or being told about the reasons, especially given that he knew Mr England was a witness.
"Mr Cairns’ asserted that he was not a lawyer and did not then understood the difference between an adjournment, a delay and a collapse.
"It seems to me that these terms are self-evident. Mr Cairns’ evidence was that what he would have drawn from the content of the conversation with a member of his staff that there had been difficulties with the trial.
"But that the member of staff had not told him that Mr England had had anything to do with it."
Mr Cairns was re-elected as Vale of Glamorgan MP in the General Election, but resigned as Welsh Secretary.
His replacement has been announced as Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.