A Labour politician has been suspended after he and a group of Conservative members including the party’s leader were found to have consumed alcohol at the Welsh Parliament premises.

Former Welsh Government minister Alun Davies drank glasses of wine with Tory leader Paul Davies, chief whip Darren Millar and the party’s chief of staff Paul Smith in a Senedd tearoom.

The incident happened on December 8, four days after pubs were forced to stop selling alcohol under the Welsh Labour-led government rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, although off-licences were allowed to sell alcohol until 10pm.

All four men deny breaking any Covid-19 rules and say they observed social distancing while meeting to discuss working together on a proposed bill before consuming alcohol not bought from parliament premises.

On Tuesday, Welsh Labour said Mr Davies had been suspended from its group in the Senedd pending an investigation.

A spokesperson said: “A member has been suspended from the privileges of the Senedd Labour group membership while an investigation takes place into this alleged incident.”

A Welsh Conservatives source told the PA news agency that the group believed they had not broken Covid-19 rules because the alcohol was not bought from the Senedd site nor was it served by catering staff.

A statement on behalf of Paul Davies, Darren Millar, Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions. While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

A spokesman for the Senedd Commission, which is the corporate body for the Senedd, said: “We are aware of an incident on the Senedd estate last month which may have been contrary to public health regulations in force at the time.

“The Senedd Commission takes the public health regulations in Wales very seriously and is currently investigating the matter in order to establish an accurate account of what took place and to determine whether action may be required.”

A spokesman for catering company CH&CO Group, which offers catering and hospitality services at the Senedd, said: “We are aware of an alleged breach of public health regulations at the Senedd estate.

“As caterers, we take our responsibilities and obligations to restrictions and public health regulations across the UK very seriously.

“We are currently undertaking a full investigation into this matter.”

The Welsh Government’s minister for mental health Eluned Morgan said on Twitter: “I have written to @WelshConserv this evening to call on them to take appropriate action and suspend those involved whilst investigations continue into this alleged incident.”

Plaid Cymru MS Llyr Gruffydd said on Twitter: “If this is true it seems Tories and Labour politicians have been indulging in a lock-in while the public are locked down.

“This is incredibly serious and nothing but an immediate suspension of the whip pending a thorough investigation will suffice.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “South Wales Police is aware of an internal investigation being conducted by the Senedd Commission into an incident on the Senedd estate last month.

“If the matter is referred to police, an investigation will be undertaken if suspected breaches of the public health regulations are identified.”