A Senedd Member has today “returned to work” in the Senedd and called for others to do the same as shops and schools reopen.
Welsh National Paty MS Neil McEvoy said not doing so displayed “hypocrisy” and “contempt for the Welsh people” as the Welsh Government allowed non-essential shops to reopen.
“As people all over Wales are going back to work in their thousands, the Welsh Government still has the Senedd on lockdown,” he said.
“Holyrood, Stormont and Westminster are all open, but the Senedd isn’t. This sends out a bad message to the people of Wales. It’s saying that you must go back to your workplace but us politicians who make these rules aren’t quite ready yet. Do as we say, not as we do.
“It smacks of hypocrisy and shows contempt for the Welsh people.
“Our parliament cannot be shut down when we are expecting non-essential retail and schools to return shortly. How can politicians send children back to the front line, but leave politicians safely locked away at home?
“This shows a lack of leadership. Politicians should be leading by example. The kids are back in school next week, so I am going back to work a week before them.
“Of course physical distancing measures must be observed and politicians may have to work remotely more often but we need to re-open our democracy and scrutinise the FM over his handling of the crisis.”
Neil McEvoy was later banned from the Senedd plenary after joining while sitting in the building itself.
“I am aware that one Member is in the chamber filming himself, and broadcasting that on social media,” Llywydd Elin Jones said.
“I will be asking that this Member is taken off the virtual Senedd and we will close the Siambr. My advice to Neil McEvoy is not to play games with the Senedd.”
McEvoy, elected as a Plaid Cymru member to represent South Wales Central in 2016 before being suspended, has said that the Welsh National Party will field candidates across Wales in next year’s Senedd elections.
The Senedd Member said that his intention was to challenge the First Minister, Mark Drakeford in Cardiff West.
Neil McEvoy was suspended from Plaid Cymru’s Assembly Group in 2018 and eventually expelled from the party itself.
In January he was suspended as a councillor for four months after a council panel ruled he had bullied a care home worker.
Another new Welsh nationalist party, Gwlad, have also said that they will field candidates in every constituency in Wales.
They said the whole process is to be made as open and accessible to all, to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to put their names forward for selection.
However, they told Nation.Cymru that they were open to the possibility of discussions with Neil McEvoy’s party.