Councillor returns to Plaid Cymru fold following H.M Stanley statue storm
A councillor has returned to the Plaid Cymru fold following a storm about a statue of the Victorian explorer H.M Stanley.
Cllr Gwyneth Kensler, who represents Denbigh Central on Denbighshire County Council, had resigned from the party, saying that she felt that she did not “fit in” anymore.
The councillor, who had backed keeping the statue of Stanley, amid calls to have it removed, had also cited “nastiness” on social media as a reason.
She and the Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Rhys Thomas held several meetings to discuss her decision to leave.
She decided to re-join the party and the group of Plaid Cymru councillors on Denbighshire County Council as a result of these meetings.
Kensler told the Denbighshire Free Press: “With devolution under threat and a new era of co-operation starting at the Welsh Senedd, this is not the time to leave the party of which I have been a member since returning to live in Wales in 1980.
“I am also looking forward to working with our new councillor, Gwyneth Ellis from Cynwyd.
“Meanwhile, I shall continue to do my best for Wales and for Denbigh.”
‘Plaid has changed’
When she resigned from the party, she said: “Naturally, Plaid has changed since I first joined and I now feel that I no longer fit in, locally.
“Of course, I have suffered verbal abuse and criticism during my time with Plaid and as a councillor but that was nothing compared to the nastiness that is on social media these days.”
Calls for the statue to be removed from the town had been sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. Campaigners pointed to the explorers association with European imperialism.
In response Denbigh Town Council held a public vote on whether to keep the statue or have it removed. Of the 592 Denbigh residents who voted, 79.6%, wanted the statue to remain where it is.