Former YesCymru Chair apologises for not tackling problems in the organisation
The former Chair of YesCymru has apologised for not getting to grips with problems in the organisation.
Sion Jobbins said he made “mistakes” which led to good people being “hurt”, and that he didn’t “foresee” potential challenges.
He made the comments in an interview with Guto Harri on the S4C politics programme, Byd yn ei Le, in an episode which is due to air at 8:25pm.
YesCymru has seen its membership rocket to over 18,000 in the past year, and support for independence has reach record levels during the same period.
But the pro-independence group has also been afflicted by bitter infighting and a period of turmoil which led to a number of resignations from the Central Committee, including that of Sion Jobbins as Chair.
There was a vote of no confidence in the Central Committee from regional groups of the National Committee. All members of the Central Committee collectively resigned from their posts shortly thereafter.
Sion Jobbins said: “I think I made mistakes. There’s stuff every single day since the last three months, where I think of things I should have done last year.
“Maybe I should have foreseen there was a need to strengthen the constitution.
“I should have been able to foresee, yes with the growth in membership, there’s the possibility that there’ll just be more arguments and stuff like this. I didn’t. I was at fault for that as a chair, not giving that leadership.
“I feel that very deeply and I feel that people have been hurt. Good people have been hurt. I feel that daily. Therefore, I am at fault.”
He added: “I would also say during the last year it was a revolution of events. Covid personally I thought that would be very damaging to the organisation because we couldn’t go to rallies like Merthyr.
“The Central Committee succeeded in commissioning films. We got a newspaper out. A million people in Wales, one third of the Welsh population got a newspaper through the door from YesCymru members in their spare time.”
Guto Harri suggested that some members of the organisation had acted selfishly and pushed their own agendas.
Jobbins replied: “It would have been better in hindsight if some people hadn’t been on Twitter and I think it would have been better for them too. I cancelled my Twitter account in July because I saw it as too much, and the world hasn’t come to an end for me. The world goes on without knowing what Sion Jobbins feels every day, and I think other people, it would be a good education for people in general.”
In his resignation statement he said that he was not stepping down “to make a political point or under pressure from others,” a reference to some disagreement about the current political direction of the movement which has expanded to over 18,000 members in the last year.
“I’m stepping down purely for personal reasons – because of my health,” he said. “A role like this is life changing.
“I’ve been Chair for over two and a half years, and I’ve recently been unable to cope with the pressures of the role, which is voluntary and extra to my paid work.”
He added that “with this kind of growth, expectations, responsibility, demands for results and the need for structural changes within our organisation have become apparent”.
“This is, I’m sure, a very normal process for all fast growing organisations, and it weighs heavily on me. YesCymru now needs a Chair who has those organisational skills,” he said.
“YesCymru has grown from a core group to a mass movement. With that comes many different views and ideas of why an independent Wales is needed and what it may look like.”
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