A GWENT AM faces being banned from the Assembly for two weeks after admitting failing to provide a breath sample to police.

Islwyn's Rhianon Passmore was banned from driving for 20 months in February after pleading guilty to failing to provide a sample of breath for analysis on Saturday, September 23, last year.

In a statement to the Assembly's Standards of Conduct Committee, which has recommended she should be banned from the Assembly for two weeks, starting on the first day after the summer recess, Monday, September 17, the Labour AM said she had been out for a meal in Cardiff with a friend during the evening on September 22, during which she had drunk "possibly two or three glasses of wine".

On the way back to the car Ms Passmore, who suffers from chronic and acute asthma, had an asthma attack and took emergency medication she carries with her.

She explained while driving to her mother's house her car broke down in St Mellons, and the police arrived and asked her to provide a sample of breath.

She said: "I tried but was unable to do so.

"I was arrested and taken to the police station where I was asked to provide a sample of breath for analysis.

"Again I tried but was unable to do so."

She added: "I do not know why I was unable to provide a sample of my breath.

"I did not intentionally fail to do so and it may be that my asthmatic condition was a contributory factor to my failure.

"During the process I was very distressed and this was exacerbated because despite my condition I could not access my medication.

"When my asthma medication was eventually offered I was prevented from taking the required and necessary dose.

"I believe this and the fear of my condition being left untreated and in addition to being in shock after the attack strongly contributed to being unable to provide a sample as required."

Ms Passmore, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2016, appeared before Newport Magistrates Court on Monday, February 12, where she pleaded guilty to failing to provide a sample.

Following the conviction she referred herself to the Assembly's Commissioner for Standards Sir Roderick Evans, who ruled she had breached paragraph 4b of the Assembly's Code of Conduct, which states: "Assembly Members should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the Assembly and refrain from any action which would bring the Assembly, or its Members generally, into disrepute.”

A committee report noted such an offence would normally result in a ban of 21 days, but it had decreased this by seven days "because the member (Ms Passmore) showed remorse for her actions through her self-referral and co-operation with the commissioner for

standards".

It added: "This was the first instance where a member has referred themselves to the independent commissioner for standards.

"This is a practice that the committee welcomes as it makes clear the recognition by the member that they are aware of requirements in the Code of Conduct and shows intent to make amends for their contravention of this."

In a statement to the committee Ms Passmore said: “I deeply regret that I have breached the code in this way, and wish to offer my sincere apologies for doing so.”

As well as the driving ban, she was also fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and costs of £620 - all of which has been paid in full.

Ms Passmore has been contacted for comment.