Former Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner calls on Adam Price to resign
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price should take responsibility for all that has gone wrong on his watch and resign, Arfon Jones told Nation.Cymru today.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MS Adam Price has been the leader of Plaid Cymru since 2018, replacing Leanne Wood.
Arfon Jones was Plaid Cymru North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner from 2016 until 2021 when he decided to retire.
Prior to this, he represented the party on Wrexham Borough County Council.
Mr Jones said: “At the end of the day Adam is leader and things have happened on his watch. There have been complaints from staff – I’ve heard what everyone else has heard, I don’t know more than that.
“But with everything that’s gone on we have now come to a head and he should now look at his situation and resign as leader.”
On the plus side, said Mr Jones: “Structural changes are happening within Plaid in that we have a new Chair in Marc Jones, and a new Vice Chair in Beca Brown. I know them both well and they’re both progressive and I hope they’ll bring change in the way Plaid Cymru is being run, and make us more effective.
“But I’m unsure whether they can do that if Adam continues as leader, to be honest.”
A few months after the May 2021 Senedd elections Arfon Jones became so disillusioned that he stopped being a paid-up member of Plaid Cymru. But that could change in the New Year, he suggested: “If Marc and Beca will be able to make the changes I hope they will, then I’d have no problem re-joining the party.”
Adam Price failed to deliver the election results he’d hoped for in May 2021. Plaid Cymru not only lost Rhondda but also failed to take votes off Welsh Labour elsewhere.
However, Plaid Cymru did gain two regional Senedd seats, to which Arfon Jones responds: “Personally, I think that had more to do with the failure of UKIP and Reform UK than it had to do with support for Plaid Cymru.”
Mr Jones says he still doesn’t know what the Plaid Cymru message was going into the 2021 election.
“Our manifesto was more of a novel … I kicked off back then about the lack of strategy and so on. Then it was decided that Dafydd Trystan (academic and former Plaid Cymru Chair) would look into things and write a report. I spoke to Dafydd at the time.
“This report was to be published in September 2021 which is over a year ago now. I’ve never seen it and haven’t spoken with anyone else who has seen it either.”
In May 2020, Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards was arrested at his home in Carmarthenshire on suspicion of assaulting his wife. The MP admitted his guilt and received a police caution.
At the time, a statement was issued saying that his wife, Emma Edwards, was standing by her husband. But earlier this year she said she regretted that statement which had been written not by her, but by a Plaid Cymru press officer.
She told the BBC that she was “appalled” that the suspension was about to be lifted, and that nobody from the party had bothered to make contact with her after the assault.
Arfon Jones said of Adam Price’s troubles at the helm: “It started off with Jonathan Edwards and his failure as leader to take early action, well truth be told, to take any kind of action, until Emma Edwards came out with her statement. It was that, I think, that forced Adam to tell Jonathan that he could not stand in the name of Plaid. He was slow (to react) and failed to show leadership.”
Fast forward to early November 2022, Mr Jones added: “Now we have Rhys ap Owen (elected South Wales Central region in 2021) suspended from the Plaid group (in the Senedd). There are allegations against him, but we don’t know what those are.”
Then on 16 December, Plaid Cymru issued a statement saying Chief Executive Carl Harris was stepping down. Former Plaid Cymru politician Nerys Evans has been appointed to look into the culture and internal workings of the party.
When pressed to suggest a successor to Mr Price as leader of Plaid Cymru, Mr Jones said: “Delyth Jewell.”
The Plaid Cymru press office has been approached for comment.
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