POTENTIALLY 'embarrassing' legal advice sought by Pembrokeshire County Council in relation to rapist former councillor Dai Boswell should be made public, a committee has recommended.

County councillor Jacob Williams has been pushing for the release of legal advice provided by James Goudie QC relating to the period after Boswell was elected as county councillor, but then did not formally take up his seat for more than a month.

Council officers had recommended the information not be released, citing the potential for a precedent to be set and future difficulties dealing with confidential legal advice.

But at Thursday's Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Williams won a recommendation that the advice be released.

The final decision, however, will be made by full council.

Cllr Williams said he had only come across the advice by chance but had since seen the documents and was convinced the release was in the public interest.

He said the advice showed that senior council officers were preventing Boswell - who at that point had not been arrested or charged - from taking up his seat.

Picking apart the potential legal reasons for objecting to the release of the advice, Cllr Williams said: "I have seen what's in that advice. The instructions are probably more revealing than the advice itself."

He added: "The council had been put under pressure to accept his position as a councillor and sought this external legal advice and the response from Mr Goudie, I can only read it to say 'are you really serious in asking me that question?' "It is very revealing and it shows certain officers in a particularly poor light and I can understand why they would want it not to be disclosed."

Cllr Michael Stoddart added: "If officers of this council, as has been suggested, have attempted to prevent somebody taking their seat as a councillor, having been duly elected, we know with hindsight there was a safeguarding issue but there wasn't at the time, this man had not been convicted of anything at the time, and if officers of this council went out and spent £2,000 of taxpayers' money seeking legal advice to try and prevent this man taking his seat, then I think it is a matter of public interest and the public should know about it."

Councillors backed a motion that the issue go back to full council with a recommendation that the advice be released to the public.