Jonathan Edwards says Adam Price’s handling of his ousting from Plaid Cymru was ‘spiteful’
Former Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has accused leader Adam Price of handling his ousting from the party in a “spiteful” way.
The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP announced last month that he wouldn’t be rejoining Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Group, two years after being caution by police for an assault on his wife.
Party leader Adam Price, who represents the same constituency at the Senedd, put a statement the same day saying that Jonathan Edwards’ actions “do not represent our values and his position as an MP sends the wrong message out to domestic abuse survivors”.
In a letter to Plaid Cymru organisers in the constituency, Jonathan Edwards asked them to question party bosses on the way his ousting had been handled.
“Why did the leader release his spiteful statement immediately after I stated that I did not want to re-join the party’s Westminster group, even though there was an agreement that a personal statement from me would offer an honourable path?” he asked.
Adam Price’s statement was published on social media some 15 minutes after Jonathan Edwards’s announcement on Facebook, but it was not clear if one was in reaction to another.
Both statements last month were released after Plaid Cymru said that they were “considering carefully” the implications of comments by Jonathan Edwards’ wife.
Emma Edwards had told BBC Wales that she was “appalled and disappointed” that Plaid Cymru has reinstated Jonathan Edwards as an MP for the party.
Plaid Cymru’s National Executive Committee had recommended not to re-admit the MP but said that they had since taken “further procedural advice” and restored the whip to him.
In an article for Nation.Cymru Plaid Cymru’s Communications Director Siân Gwenllian MS said that the issue was that the party’s disciplinary procedures did not sufficiently differentiate between ordinary members and members who had been elected to positions of influence, and so Jonathan Edwards could automatically resume his title of Plaid MP.
But in a further statement released after Emma Edwards’ comments, Plaid Cymru hinted that they were looking again at the matter.
“Plaid Cymru believes the voice of victims of domestic violence must be listened to, and the party is considering carefully the implications of the public statement made by Emma Edwards and what action may need to be taken as a result of her statement,” they said.
Jonathan Edwards then put out a statement to say “it is with deep regret that I announce that I will not be re-joining the Plaid Cymru Westminster group to allow a period of calm reflection”.
He also added that “over the past two years there have been periods when I have felt suicidal as my personal and professional life crumbled and I was offered no safeguarding by the party”.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price soon after put out a statement to say: “My firm belief is that Jonathan Edwards cannot continue to represent Plaid Cymru in Westminster. He should resign immediately.”
He added: “I also call on Jonathan Edwards to leave the party. His actions do not represent our values and his position as an MP sends the wrong message out to domestic abuse survivors in Wales and beyond.
“I would like to thank Emma Edwards for speaking out yesterday and for her to know that her voice has been heard. I would also like to offer my apology to her and all domestic abuse survivors for the pain this has caused.
“Our disciplinary processes must change to give victims of gender-based violence a central role in any enquiries. This work will begin immediately and will be given the urgency and gravity it clearly deserves.”
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