Former North Wales crime commissioner criticised over tweet following death of Sir David Amess
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A former police and crime commissioner has been criticised over a tweet he posted in the wake of the death of Sir David Amess.
Arfon Jones, who was PCC for North Wales for five years before stepping down ahead of May’s elections, appeared to lay the blame for the MP’s killing at the door of the UK Government.
In a tweet which has since been deleted, Arfon Jones said: “Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have a government that divides and rules and sows hate, fear and division. Someone somewhere will respond violently.”
He later apologised for what he described as his “untimely and insensitive” remarks.
Sir David, Conservative MP for Southend West, had been holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed multiple times on Friday.
A 25-year-old man is being held in police custody under the Terrorism Act following the incident.
The comments by Mr Jones, a former police inspector and Wrexham councillor, were widely condemned after he posted them on Friday afternoon.
Brecon and Radnorshire Conservative MP Fay Jones said: “You were absolutely out of line.
“You have a long history of attacking and disrespecting those who disagree with you. You are not fit for public office.”
In a tweet posted after his original comments were removed, Mr Jones said: “I wish to apologise for my earlier tweet, it was untimely and insensitive.
“What I was trying to express was concern about the toxic nature of our political discourse and the tragic consequences of such toxicity.”
There have been calls for MPs’ security arrangements to be reviewed in the wake of Sir David’s death.
Delyn MP Rob Roberts was among those who said the attack had left him “scared”, adding he would be holding discussions with his staff on how surgeries are held in future.
Mr Jones said he had no further comment to make in response to the criticism of his tweet when contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
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