Neil McEvoy’s Welsh National Party removed from register after Plaid Cymru legal threat

Neil McEvoy AM

Neil McEvoy’s new Welsh National Party has been removed from the register of political parties following a threat of legal action by Plaid Cymru over their name.

Plaid Cymru had called on the Electoral Commission to revoke the registration of the name Welsh National Party or complete a further review of the registration process.

In February the Electoral Commission decided not to allow the Welsh National Party to use the Welsh-language name Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru.

It decided that the Welsh language name, despite being a direct translation, was too close to the name of Plaid Cymru and could confuse voters.

But Plaid Cymru argued that by the same logic the Electoral Commission should not have allowed the Welsh National Party to use the English name.

Neil McEvoy, who sits as a Member of the Senedd, said it was a “shameful day for democracy in Wales”.

“A new political party, which is poised to beat Wales’ First Minister in Cardiff West next year is cancelled because a competitor complained. This kind of thing does not happen in democracies,” he said.

“The WNP has been formally registered with the Electoral Commission for months and is a fully functioning political party. I sit in the Welsh Parliament as a Welsh National Party member. We have six Councillors sitting in three local authorities as Welsh National Party Members, with others to be announced. We already have hundreds of members across the country who are paying their standing orders to the WNP.”

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said that they welcomed the Electoral Commission’s decision to consider the application afresh.

“This step is a recognition of what we have argued from the outset which is that the Commission had acted unlawfully,” the spokesperson said.

“Plaid Cymru will always protect its historic name and we are confident that this matter will be resolved in a manner that allows us to continue doing so.”

 

‘Re-consideration’

In a letter to Neil McEvoy, the Electoral Commission said that they had considered Plaid Cymru’s letter and decided to consider the WNP’s application afresh.

“The Commission is necessarily doing this to follow its normal process of placing notifications of registration applications on its website to allow representations to be made,” the commission said.

“Further, in relation to this particular application, the effect of the Welsh Language Measure is, of course, a matter to be included in the consideration.

“This means that the decision of 15th January 2020 to register your Party is of no effect and the Commission will now treat your application as a new application. It will, of course, be considered by people who were not involved in the original decision and you will have an opportunity to make any additions or amendments to your application which you think would be helpful.

“This re-consideration in accordance with the required process is not an indication whether your application may or may not be approved. Rather, the Commission must take these steps to reach a decision in this matter. I apologise on behalf of the Commission for the inconvenience caused to your party and assure you we will endeavour to complete procedure and reach a final decision as soon as reasonably practicable.”

‘Shocking’

Neil McEvoy said that the party had complied with every regulation by the Electoral Commission and already submitted their quarterly electoral returns.

“We have done absolutely everything by the book,” eh said. “When the Commission rejected our proposed Welsh language name, claiming it could be confusing, we accepted the decision immediately and proposed a different one. But they failed to make a decision on that name in over two months.

“For the Commission to simply deregister our party is truly shocking. They didn’t even speak to us before doing so. How can we say we live in a democracy when rule-abiding political parties are just cancelled overnight because a threatening letter is sent by a rival political party and their expensive London lawyers? All political parties must be treated equally and fairly.

“This decision is further proof of why we need a fundamental change in Wales. The Establishment thinks it can do whatever it likes now. But they will find out though that there is a new force for change in Wales. We will be standing in the elections next year, come what may.

“The WNP believes that the Electoral Commission is acting unlawfully. We are seeking urgent legal advice and want a statement from the Speaker’s Committee in London who oversee the electoral commission.”

Neil McEvoy was originally elected for Plaid Cymru to represent the South Wales Central region in 2016 before being expelled in 2017. He withdrew his application to re-join Plaid Cymru in July of last year and registered the new Welsh National Party in January of this year.

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Gwynedd
Guest
Gwynedd

McEvoy is being as disingenuous as ever. He was elected to the National Assembly (as was) in the name of Plaid Cymru, as were the other councillors in Cardiff West, and he should have had to resign from the Assembly when he was no longer a member of Plaid Cymru (as of course Dafydd Elis-Thomas should have done).

Jase
Guest
Jase

The seat belonged to Plaid Cymru not Mcevoy

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

If our elected representatives had to resign from the Senedd or Westminster if they decided to leave a political party; they would in effect become hostages to their party leadership and the consequences of that on the behaviour of all our representatives would more than cancel out any occasional accountability caused by a by election.

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

Ok but if I voted for mr ? as a monster raving luny and he decided after that he wants to be conservative then why should he retain his seat when he no longer represents the people that voted him in?

James Humphreys
Guest
James Humphreys

You’re not voting for a party but someone to represent you.

Mike Deem
Guest
Mike Deem

Actually James, McEvoy holds a regional seat. He was elected on votes for the party, not him as an individual.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Imagine a world where elected representatives could be removed at the whim of their leader. No dissent or disagreement. Would have been carnage under Wood. But then, the authoritarian left would love that, wouldn’t they? Checks and balances? No thanks, comrade!

Andrew Redman
Guest
Andrew Redman

If Plaid are so concerned and so confident then they should have no problem in having an election in Cardiff West with a plaid candidate vs. N.McEvoy?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

This is all irrelevant. His expulsion from Plaid Cymru has no bearing on his position as an AM. If he had been deselected by his constituency party, that’s a different matter. But it would would only come into force at the next Senedd election. So there was no obligation on him to resign at the time and trigger a by-election. Anyway, I think the majority of his constituents would have been up in arms if he had somehow been made to give up his seat.

Babs
Guest
Babs

Well said. Whilst I’m happy that people turn out to use their vote maybe they should take the time to understand the system too

David Roberts
Guest
David Roberts

I hate Plaid Cymru more and more, as every days passes!!!

Glen
Guest
Glen

Plaid and their Labour chums make the Abolish the Assembly Party look more attractive by the day.

Andy M
Guest
Andy M

There is no assembly any more! We have a Parliament!!!

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

How thick do Plaid Cymru think the Welsh electorate are, that we can’t distinguish between the English versions of the names of the two Parties? But, of course, we know there’s more to it than that. I am at a loss as to why the WNP has been ‘unregistered’, when the Electoral Commission could simply have asked the Party to submit a new name. If the Party had refused to do so, then, and only then, should they have been removed from the register. Very, very, fishy. This represents a low point in Welsh politics; the WNP may have no… Read more »

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

You summarize my own thoughts on this very odd decision so exactly that there’s no point in my posting the comment which I initially had in mind.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

You’re very forgiving that I stole your thunder, John.

It was a petty-minded act by the Party of Wales, but I’m sure the matter will be resolved before long, so that any future converts from Plaid Cymru will at least know the name of their new Party.

Sian Ifan
Guest
Sian Ifan

Why not rename as Gwlad,Gwlad, Gwlad? Whatever, I repeat we need a MONDRAGON not more Fringe Nationalism or Cultural Nationalism either. Patriots get a grip on reality our country is heading for complete economic disaster out of which there will be no hope of Independence full stop no matter how much ‘YESSING’ goes on! Gethin.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

What a sad day for democracy, when a political party, with paying members, and elected representatives, is simply struck off because another party doesn’t like its name. As McEvoy says, this shows more than ever the need for change. We live in a banana republic.

Glen
Guest
Glen

With out the bananas.

Eirwen
Guest
Eirwen

It seems to have been rather a spiteful step to have chosen a name which was so similar in the first place.Asking for trouble.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Oh get a grip. What’s spiteful about Welsh National Party? When the Welsh translation was rejected, they offered another one.

In any event, whatever one’s opinion of the individuals or party names, to simply strike off a political party without warning, at the behest of another party, is extraordinary in a democracy.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Plaid’s nouveau brand of Fascism on the march ? Men ( and women) in shabby grey suits can be just as nasty as those who paraded in brown shirts 80-90 years ago. Suppression of opposition is straight out of Adolf’s cookbook. Right now it looks almost comedic but we need to be vigilant.

Plain citizen
Guest
Plain citizen

It stinks. Sounds odd that the WNP having been accepted is now un accepted. The reasoning seems very odd as well. Can every decision made by this body now be revoked. Saved PC a fortune in legal fees as well. Who knows what arm twisting in Cardiff and London has been taking place, promises of seats on more lucrative quangos etc etc. I think WNP should go to the courts for judicial review straight away. I’m just waiting for the decision of the Electoral Commission revoking the registration of the SNP in case it confuses voters who thought it was… Read more »

Not neil McEvoy
Guest
Not neil McEvoy

” I sit in the Welsh Parliament as a Welsh National Party member. We have six Councillors sitting in three local authorities as Welsh National Party Members, with others to be announced”.

Yet, not a single one of them was elected for the WNP and you have the balls to talk about democracy?

Cerydd
Guest
Cerydd

“Not neil McEvoy”, didn’t you read Jonathan Gammond’s very sensible comment near the top of this page?

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

I don’t think mr Gammond’s comments were very sensible. As I said before my vote is for the party not the personality. If my vote was for X then I don’t want my representative to suddenly say ‘tough I now stand for Y’ do I. I agree with not neil.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Check out Rhosddu’s comment below. Had McEvoy jumped ship you might have a case but the dark forces within Plaid contrived to evict him, so he is left with no choice other than set up a new party or join another. Anyway there is plenty of precedent and it seems that all parties put up with it except when one of their own does something perceived to be against their interests.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

McEvoy’s case is different. He’s not Mark Reckless. He was popular with his constituents and was then expelled from Plaid Cymru, so he had no choice but to become an independent if he wished to continue to represent the constituency. That is not grounds for resignation, although it would have suited Plaid very well if he had done so. And voters do vote for the man/woman as well as the Party, at least in the rare cases where a candidate (e.g. McEvoy) actually has a central nervous system and isn’t just reading from a script.

mark
Guest
mark

but it’s ok for racist and anti Welsh groups like the brexit party and ukip to be in the Senedd.

Glen
Guest
Glen

In Plaid circles Neil McEvoy is public enemy No. 1.
A major threat to the cosy Plaid, Labour relationship.

Plain citizen
Guest
Plain citizen

Correct, he jeopordises the smooth operation of the taxpayer funded gravy train for the Cardiff elite. Can’t have that can we?

huwdavies
Guest
huwdavies

A minor victory for the Plaid leadership, for the time being. However it reinforces the view out in the country that they are a bunch of no-hopers who have abandoned their raison d’etre and will now just fight for the salary and benefits that A.M’s and fellow hangers-on allegedly earn. Neil can call his party anything, try the Mickey Mouse movement, and I would be far more likely to vote for them than the shower that hail themselves as Party of Wales.

Jase
Guest
Jase

How is it the Brexit party is racist but welsh nationalist Anglophobia isn’t ?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Anti-colonialism is not racism, be it Cymru today, Ireland pre-1916, or the USA pre-1776.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

“Plaid Cymru will always protect its historical name”…except by actually registering or TMing it.

Plaid Cymru are going nowhere. They know it. We know it. They think the national movement is all about them, but they’re completely irrelevant in large swaths of the country, mainly where the votes are.

Anyone who wants to achieve anything for Wales knows that Plaid’s had the chance, and blown it.

Glen
Guest
Glen

Plaid have had no interest in independence for donkeys years, just as long as the favoured few get reelected to the Assembly they’re happy.

I can’t remember the previous leader who still influences many in the Party ever even mention the ‘I’ word.

Not Leanne Wood
Guest
Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Actions speak louder than words. If you’re here to defend Leanne Wood’s record, then you’re wasting your time.

Cambro
Guest
Cambro

Lots of “if’s” there – mainly based around Scotland leaving and Brexit – specifically things which threatened the status quo of the Union at the time. I kind of feel Wales reasons for needing Independence are constant. The impact of Brexit is of course “one more reason to go”. “The Change We Need” also spoke of Independence – often followed by “buts” and “however’s” – and as we all know – the word “but” negates all that comes before it. Only Independence will truly secure the tools we need to create a better future for our country. There are no… Read more »

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Well I checked ’em, and you are correct.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

As if we didn’t know the difference between a party with balls, and erm, the other. Here’s your new name: Parti Dewi Sant.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

No,no,no ! O.K if you are a bit of a saint, but what about compulsive sinners like me ?

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Actually, this could be one way people like me (more, a lot more, than you think, might circumvent the Welsh Christian Party, which is neither Welsh nor whats’name. Maybe the 50% are waiting.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Right, Oh , St Hugh of sinners! Or dinners?

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Ifan! where’s the edit?

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Mysteriously vanished in the last few days, making it impossible for me to remove my spelling/grammar camgymeriadau …

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

“The man who cannot make mistakes cannot do anything” (Confusius). Console yourself with that, John…

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

I’ll try. Trouble is, I like to be right, which means that I REALLY don’t like demonstrating an ability to be wrong!

Les
Guest
Les

Might it actually be that the Electoral Commission ballsed up by not following the proper process, that Plaid Cymru recognised this and took the only action available to it to ensure due process is followed? Isn’t that why a Judicial Review process exists? Mr McEvoy, any political party and indeed any individual would be able to avail themselves of a judicial review if they found any public body didn’t follow proper process. By reversing it’s decision it’s clear the Electoral Commission knows it didn’t do things properly, but I don’t see there’s anything preventing Mr McEvoy of registering a political… Read more »

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

As McEvoy has stated, they did follow the process. If the Electoral Commission feels they didn’t follow their usual process, the solution is CLEARLY not to simply de-register a party with members and elected representatives, but at the very least to give them the opportunity to change their name. Or, to reconsider the decision WITHOUT removing the WNP as a party. In fact, according to WNP, the decision had already been reviewed once. This absolutely stinks. The Welsh – and by extension, the British – Establishment, of which Plaid is a part, feels under threat by McEvoy and the WNP.… Read more »

Gwynedd
Guest
Gwynedd

But of course WNP itself has no elected representatives. Most were elected as Plaid Cymru representatives. Don’t let the facts get in the way ….

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

But of course the fact is they do have elected representatives. They’re elected. And they represent WNP. Ipso facto, WNP has elected representatives.

I know this line of attack is pretty much all Plaid have left now, but it was Plaid wot kicked McEvoy out, lest we forget. So it’s not a particularly strong stance. Not that Plaid would recognise one of those when it sees it.

Former Member
Guest
Former Member

And yet, it’s fine when it works the other way…?!

http://walesnewsonline.com/labour-councillor-joins-plaid-cymru/

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Oh, there’s a shock!

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Yes, but things should never have got to this point. There’s no confusion between the English versions of the two parties’ names, and Plaid know it. I don’t know why they don’t just hire a hitman if they’re that scared of McEvoy.

Roy Jones
Guest
Roy Jones

A fuss about nothing at all: the Electoral Commission is reconsidering the application. It could find in the WNP’s favour. This is a question of process.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

They’ve already reconsidered it once. But now they’ve just struck the party off. That the Plaid faithful has no problem with this is incredible.

As I’ve always said, the left’s natural inclination is toward authoritarianism. Democracy is secondary to their desire to regulate the lives of others. So, of course they don’t care about fundamental values in this case – a pyrrhic victory over their sworn enemy is far more important.

Alun T
Guest
Alun T

All I will say here is “Drain the Swamp”!

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Anti Ecologist! Only joking!

James Humphreys
Guest
James Humphreys

Why can’t Genedlaethol be used

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Apparently, WNP used that as a compromise. That’s why this whole thing stinks.

Former Member
Guest
Former Member

A new low for Plaid Cymru. I’m embarrassed to have ever been a member. They’ll happily work with Unionist parties, be that getting into bed with Labour or agreeing electoral pacts with the Lib Dems. But the emergence of a ‘new kid on the block’ to threaten their dubious claim of being ‘Wales’ national party,’ brings out their true colours. Plaid Cymru never has and never will be the Party of Wales. They have failed spectacularly at this for nearly a 100 years, and are completely irrelevant in large swathes of our country. The email sent to Plaid members under… Read more »

E Williams
Guest
E Williams

McEnvoy is a professional antagonist who’s cynically tried to crowbar similar names to Plaid Cymru for his party because he wasn’t allowed to be Plaid Cymru. That’s the point. If he succeeds then all he will have achieve is to further fragment the Welsh vote to the benefit of the predominant party… Labour. Pretty much a foot shooting exercise.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Can you explain the similarity between Plaid Cymru and Welsh National Party? Cos I sure as s***t don’t see it.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

‘Plaid Cymru’ / ‘Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru’.

A certain similarity.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Which is why it was rejected, and which is why they submitted Y Blaid Genedlaethol as an alternative. Clearly, WNP were willing to be flexible, but Plaid just want to have a go at McEvoy and their Establishment mates duly obliged. And before you have a go at Y Blaid Genedlaethol, a number of Plaid gimps on Twitter have said they’d be happy with that, but even if the EC wasn’t, clearly WNP were being reasonable and, I’m sure, would have submitted an alternative. But no. Just remove it from the register. Absolutely disgraceful. This is just a petty vendetta… Read more »

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

I’m unlikely to ‘have a go’ because that’s mostly how it looks …

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

However, a correct translation would be ‘Plaid Genedlaethol Cymreig’, as Jonathan Gammond proposed in a previous post. I can’t see the Electoral Commission having problems with that, unless there’s a hidden agenda.

E. Williams
Guest
E. Williams

The English press have in the past referred to Plaid Cymru as the ‘Welsh National party… and lately enough to matter.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Well, well. The Plaid faithful prostrate themselves in front of the English press. Not in the least surprising.

max wallis
Guest
max wallis

Englander Mark Reckless was elected as UKIP. But Elin Jones as Presiding Officer welcomes him as Brexit Party leader. Yet shows bias against McEvoy who can demonstrate wide support from many committed to Wales. In the “virtual” meetings of what they now call the Welsh Parliament, the Presiding Officer has not chosen him to contribute with a single question. That after McEvoy showed his political effectiveness with his Motion in February that blocked the closure of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E service.

Jase
Guest
Jase

Why do you say ”Englander”?

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

I’d guess because he is?

Andrew Redman
Guest
Andrew Redman

A prime example of political bias shown by the Presiding Officer. An embarrassing spectacle at best. Carmarthen County Council faithfully follows the same behaviour. Any criticism against the status quo is not allowed and that is a Plaid led Council!

Huw J Davies
Guest
Huw J Davies

‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’ said some bloke with a beard (take your pick whether he wore a hat). I’m afraid this gives a simple bye to unionist parties at the election and a probable goodbye to many nationalist representatives at the Senedd. I don’t see how the Party of Wales has done Wales any favours here.

Jase
Guest
Jase

As this is a platform for the people of wales not just separatists I wil have my say

Anything that rids odious people and parties from the ballot paper is a good thing in my opinion.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

You are good for a chuckle if very little else.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

See? Told ya. The authoritarian left. “I don’t agree with this guy/don’t like him, so to hell with democracy and due process.”

E. Williams
Guest
E. Williams

A surprising number of pettifoggers here grinding objections to the electoral commissions decision/method to review their original acceptance of Mc’envoy’s party name. Apart from a cringing way to save face, it does allow both sides to have a go without going to court. It also gives both sides the opportunity to avoid solicitors throwing buns about. … cheaper.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

Which could have been achieved without deregistering the party.

It is not pettifogging to discern as undemocratic the removal of a political party at the behest of another. It is something one would expect to see in Russia, or China, or Turkey….or Wales

E. Williams
Guest
E. Williams

Whats undemocratic about a review more than an expensive court proceeding where the Gov (we), and both party’s barristers battle it out? This way they can air their sides and appeal or go to court later if either side sulk over the outcome.

The most annoying thing about it all is the incompetence of the electoral commission in not identifying the bilingual contradiction to begin with.

Josh Foster
Guest
Josh Foster

They’ve already reviewed the decision. Now they’ve just struck off a political party! As I’ve commented elsewhere, for Plaid, getting one over on McEvoy is more important than anything.

They could have ‘reviewed’ again, like they did last time, without simply removing the WNP’s registration.

As I say, it is a decision you’d expect to see in Russia…

K. K
Guest
K. K

I think it’s a good decision to be honest as I don’t like the name Welsh National Party as it does look and could be conflated to mean something more sinister. Just my opinion of course. Why don’t they pick a name that stands out a bit more and be altogether somewhat irrational? It would benefit the party I would think as people would vote for the party then as opposed to something they may view as ideological.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Scottish National Party works well in Scotland, why wouldn’t it work in Wales?

K.K
Guest
K.K

I don’t know really Rob. I think my concerns are less to do with the SNP and more to being lumped in with the British National Party (BNP). If the name wasn’t taken by either of them then I wouldn’t be bothered but I just think that the way the media operates it would be a stick to beat us with. I guess I’m either cynical or just wise to how people think. Nothing wrong with the party itself it’s just that when you meet people who very obviously had no idea of what Brexit was about or that thought… Read more »