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Election hustings cancelled after threats to candidate

01 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Alex Davies-Jones. Picture by David Woolfall (CC BY 3.0).

Martin Shipton

An election hustings meeting has been cancelled after the Labour candidate told organisers she had been threatened by one of her rivals and advised not to attend by the police.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Palestine Solidarity Campaign (RCT PSC) and National Education Union (NEU) were due to jointly stage the event in Pontypridd today (July 1).

The Pontypridd constituency has nine candidates standing in the general election on July 4 and all were invited to attend and meet the electorate.

Three told the organisers they would come (Jonathan Bishop, Angela Karadog and Wiliam Rees), while two couldn’t attend due to other commitments (David Mathias and Jack Robson). Three didn’t reply, despite three separate requests – Steven Wayne Bayliss, Joe Biddulph, and Wayne Owen.

Personal threats

The Labour candidate, Alex Davies-Jones, who has represented the seat at Westminster since 2019, alleged another candidate in Pontypridd had been making personal threats against her and that she had involved the police. She did not specify which candidate had threatened her, but said she would stay away from the hustings event on police advice and on the grounds of personal safety.

The candidates standing in Pontypridd are:

* Steven Wayne Bayliss (Reform UK)

* Joe Biddulph (Independent)

* Jonathan Bishop (Independent)

* Alex Davies-Jones (Labour)#

* Angela Marie Gerrard Karadog (Green Party)

* David Mathias (Lib Dem)

* Wayne Owen (Independent)

* Wiliam Rees (Plaid Cymru)

* Jack Robson (Conservatives)

Chair of RCT PSC Andrew Draper said: “It is a pity electors will not get an opportunity to question candidates and hold them to account. We have questions on their stance on Palestine and will continue to press our case in support of Gaza and Palestine.”

Mairead Canavan, Vale of Glamorgan NEU branch and district secretary and national executive member for Wales, said: “The NEU is very disappointed not to have the opportunity to question candidates on their views about the vital issues of school funding and teacher pay. Education is in crisis and we need MPs that are going to fight for more money to support our young people.”

Andrew Tate

In January 2023 Ms Davies-Jones said she was “bombarded” with death and rape threats after speaking out against the misogynistic social media influencer Andrew Tate. The MP said she received the abuse to her “inbox and my office”.

The British-American online influencer, who amassed millions of followers for his divisive content, has been under investigation in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation. He denies the allegations.

Speaking during a Commons debate on neighbourhood policing, Ms Davies-Jones thanked her own police force for its support. She said: “I’d like to put on record my own thanks to… all of the local police in my south Wales area who have been an immense support to me in the recent weeks after I have spoken out about the horrendous abuse and behaviour of Andrew Tate online.

“As a result, my own inbox and my office have been bombarded with death threats, rape threats.”

The MP said the police response had been “brilliant”, but added “sadly this isn’t the case for everyone who experiences the same”.

Ms Davies-Jones earlier raised concerns over the impact of Tate on schoolboys at a session of Prime Minister’s Questions. She said: “Teachers are now having to develop their own resources to re-educate boys who are being brainwashed online by his deeply toxic messaging.”

Mr Draper stressed that the hustings event was cancelled because only three candidates had confirmed their attendance, not specifically because of Ms Davies-Jones’ absence.


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Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
13 days ago

Can anyone find anything on Jack Robson the Tory candidate? A search on DuckDuckGo came up mostly with pages that just list names of candidates, and on the first page, there was “Jack Russell puppies for sale in Pontypridd”. Nothing about his actual campaign.

Richard Reast
Richard Reast
12 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Lives in Banbury. Not a target seat

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
13 days ago

If these threats were verbal, it could be that nothing can be done. However, if they appeared in print and can be verified, the culprit must be eliminated by 7am Thursday.

Brychan
Brychan
13 days ago

We are told “making personal threats against her and that she had involved the police” and the nature of the threat is such serious in nature to cause her to withdraw from local hustings. I would therefore expect one of two outcomes. Either, (a) the arrest of the other candidate with appropriate bail conditions imposed or (b) the arrest of Alex Davies-Jones for wasting police time, motive being avoidance of scrutiny from the local community. Expect the former, if a case clear and credible threat is evident which has no place in our democratic process. 

Truth Man
Truth Man
12 days ago
Reply to  Brychan

Someone has been arrested and was held for 24 hours and released on bail

Welshman28
Welshman28
13 days ago

Sorry but I find this a complete set up by Alex Davies- Jones if as she says she has had any sort of threats in any form the Police should be acting on them immediately . As an MP she should attend this meeting and if she was so scared then police could attend as safely. ALL MPs get police coverage . I have never known someone to be threaten by someone that they know without the police actually interviewing that person making those threats and in her case she says Police say do not attend for your own safety… Read more »

Welshman28
Welshman28
13 days ago

She just is out of her depth with the topic being discussed

robin campbell
robin campbell
12 days ago

Surely the police should be looking into this other candidate. Who is it?

Richard Reast
Richard Reast
12 days ago

Apparently additional security arrangements were put in place and even an online hustings was turned down

Truth Man
Truth Man
12 days ago

A lady in the Pontypridd area has been arrested on suspicion of making threats. The Pallywood lot are currently making bold claims on social media that she was a arrested for “asking a question”

Weird how the arrested person’s PCs and mobile phones were taken in for evidence?

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