Alun Cairns has resigned as the Secretary of State for Wales following allegations that he was aware that a former aide had purposefully collapsed a rape trial.

Ross England, who has been suspended as both a Conservative party member and as the Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan in the 2021 Assembly elections, was told that he had deliberately “sabotaged” a rape trial by a judge. He had previously worked in Mr Cairns’ constituency office.

There has been outcry amongst Welsh politicians at the accusation that Cairns was aware of the allegations. On Tuesday, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Savile Roberts, tweeted that the Prime Minister should remove Cairns from the Cabinet and block him from standing in the upcoming general election.

In his resignation letter, Mr Cairns vowed that he was “confident [he] will be cleared of any wrongdoing” and that he would cooperate fully with the Cabinet Office enquiry. Cairns had been the Welsh Secretary since 2016 and was the only remaining Cabinet Minister to serve under David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson consecutively. He is currently the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan and was returned by a majority of just over 2,000 at the last general election.

His resignation comes mere hours before the Conservatives launch their general election campaign in the West Midlands.