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Plaid Cymru candidate ‘deeply regrets’ drink driving conviction

25 Jun 2024 5 minute read
Kiera Marshall. Photo via X (Twitter)

Martin Shipton

A Plaid Cymru general election candidate has expressed her “deep regret” after it emerged that she had been convicted in 2021 for driving with more than twice the legal alcohol limit.

Kiera Marshall, now 26, issued a statement saying she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after being stalked at the time she drove illegally in Swansea city centre.

NationCymru was sent a series of emails alleging that Ms Marshall, who is Plaid’s candidate in Cardiff West, had been the subject of an online news story from 2021 that stated: “A 23-year-old woman from Swansea had been driving along The Kingsway with 87mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath on May 8. She received a £300 fine and was disqualified for 17 months.”

The sender of the emails stated: “I was in her company when she talked about having a 17 month ban for drink driving. I was going to vote for her but I have seen the destruction caused by drink drivers.

“Plaid deselects a candidate for retweeting old tweets but drink driving over twice the legal limit is acceptable. I understand the offence took place in 2021 but the fact that she was so much over the limit is very concerning. [The limit is 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath]. Only good luck meant that nobody was injured or killed as she drunk drove down a busy city centre road.”

Questions

We sent a number of questions to Plaid Cymru:

* Is it the case that the individual referred to in the online news story is Kiera Marshall?

* If so, was the party aware of this conviction?

* Before the election, was she asked whether there was anything in her past that might be embarrassing for the party if it came into the public domain?

* If so – and if the allegation is true – did she disclose the conviction?

* If the allegation is true, what does she say about the matter now?

* If the allegation is true, what action if any will the party take against her?

Plaid Cymru did not wish to comment, but sent us a statement from Ms Marshall, who works as lead researcher for the Plaid Cymru Senedd group on Economy, Transport, and Post-16 Education policy. Ms Marshall stated: “I deeply regret this incident from my early twenties.

“It happened during a very difficult time in my life. I was in a bad place. I had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being stalked. The perpetrator was later found guilty.

“None of this excuses what happened. I deeply regret it and have learned from it.

“The party was notified of the incident during the course of the candidate selection process.”

Cardiff South

Earlier in June Plaid Cymru withdrew its support from Sharifah Rahman, the party’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth after she liked tweets critical of Israel from Nick Griffin and a social media post describing Hamas as “the resistance”.

The party told The Telegraph it had “regretfully taken the decision to withdraw support” from Sharifah Rahman in relation to posts that did not reflect its “views and values”.

Using a now deleted account on X, formerly Twitter, she had liked a number of controversial posts about Israel, including tweets from Mr Griffin. She liked a tweet from Mr Griffin in November, which referred to “the terrorist origins of the terrorist state”, referencing the Irgun, the Zionist terrorist group that operated in Mandatory Palestine.

On another occasion, she liked a tweet from Mr Griffin that showed a picture of the Israeli flag stamped with the words: “God did not give you the land – the UK did, illegally”.

She also liked a tweet from Mr Griffin of a video he shared speaking to Jayda Fransen, another far-right activist. The post said: “Gaza, Palestine, Zionist oppression, Talmudic hatred, Christian-Zionist heresy and much more …Whoever you are, expect to be surprised and challenged by this must-see discussion!”

Hamas fighters

In November 2023, Ms Rahman also liked a tweet from an account sharing a video of Hamas fighters releasing Israeli hostages. The post read: “Al Qassam Brigades released footage showing the release of the second batch of Israeli prisoners. The prisoners seem healthy and comfortable while waving to the resistance fighters.”

She liked a second follow-up tweet from the account, which said: “They are waving to the resistance!”

A spokesperson for Plaid Cymru said at the time: “Social media posts that have come to light reflect views on the tragic situation in the Middle East that do not reflect the views and values of Plaid Cymru.

“Plaid Cymru has consistently condemned both the actions of Hamas terrorists on October 7 and the subsequent horrific bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government. We reaffirm our calls for an immediate ceasefire, the unimpeded distribution of humanitarian aid and the cessation of arms sales to Israel.”

Because Ms Rahman’s nomination papers had already been submitted and there was no opportunity to withdraw the nomination before the deadline, she is still listed as a Plaid Cymru candidate on ballot papers even though the party is no longer supporting her.


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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
20 days ago

It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, no-one should see anything from the repugnant nick griffin and “like” it.

Tomos
Tomos
20 days ago

Drink driving destroys lives. How can retweets mean deselection but actively deciding to get into a var and drive down a busy street is not? I won’t be voting for her now

Bendigedig
Bendigedig
18 days ago
Reply to  Tomos

Because she has been penalised already.

Cerys
Cerys
20 days ago

I lost a loved one to a drink driver. Deeply regrets does not cut it. We’ve had drink driving laws for decades!

Tom
Tom
20 days ago

This candidate goes on and on on social media about her being a ‘local candidate’ but refuses to say how long she has lived in the constituency or how she describes local. I take it from her drink driving conviction that she was living in Swansea at the time.

She plays the age card as mitigation ‘in my early twenties’. She’s only mid twenties now! Someone that age has been raised with the dangers of drink driving.

robin campbell
robin campbell
20 days ago
Reply to  Tom

She has been punished for what she did. She has said there is no excuse for what she did. She will learn from it and should be allowed to prove that she can move on and work hard for what she believes in. The Baroness Eluned Morgan, Minister in the Welsh government was not sacked after her series of speeding offences.

Natalie Morgan
Natalie Morgan
20 days ago

Shocking! She should never be on the approved candidate list.

Holly
Holly
20 days ago

She’s lost my vote. There is a video on social media of her criticising VG for accepting a donation from a ‘criminal’ whilst she herself is a convicted criminal standing. My niece died due to a drunk driver. She must have been off her face behind the wheel.

Llyn
Llyn
20 days ago
Reply to  Holly

Holly it’s sad and shocking that people are reading your comment and incredibly voting it down!

Holly
Holly
20 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

It’s so sad. It’s as if they do not take drink driving seriously. They would be far more outraged by a bet or an expenses scandal. People die because of drink drivers. My family will never be the same again. Rhun ap said he would suspend betters yet this is acceptable?

Steffan
Steffan
20 days ago

So what’s the rule? A caution for common assault in 2020 means you are persona not grata but drink driving well over the limit in 2021 gets you on the candidate list? Hypocrisy anyone??

Tomos Morgan
Tomos Morgan
20 days ago

Can you imagine the response if this had been Neil McEvoy? He wasn’t convicted of anything but still thrown out.

CapM
CapM
20 days ago

If she informed those in Plaid Cymru involved in her selection before being selected then they have to take it on the chin and support her candidacy. If she didn’t inform them party support should be withdrawn. But not because of the drink driving offence for which the law has already punished her but for withholding information. There’s a difference between a drink driving incident and having repeatedly supported views that are contrary to your party’s political values and not revealing it. With Vaughan Gething it’s different again. He did something that was legal, was not contrary to his party’s… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
20 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Plaid have to end their support – full stop. Amazing how Plaid supporters, after months and months of attacking Vaughan Gething for taking money from a convicted criminal are now making spurious justifications for a Plaid candidate who IS a convicted criminal! BTW Gething is always being attacked by Plaid for having not done his due diligence on his donor, well again Plaid appear not to be living up to the standards they demand of Gething!

CapM
CapM
19 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

If Plaid haven’t been diligent in their selection of Kiera Marshall that’s their mistake. If they have been then presumably they think that her attributes outweigh her faults. It’s not only Plaid or even opposition parties that have been outraged with Gething accepting that donation. The sense of outrage extends to the general public, Labour supporters and even some Labour Senedd members. If you think that a drink driving criminal offence committed by someone who was not an elected representative of a political party at the time (as far as I know) is equivalent to- A Welsh government minister’s non-criminal… Read more »

FrankC
FrankC
19 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

Accepting £200,000 in dirty money and deleting Covid messages is off the scale compared to what this young woman has done.

Your comments expose the moral vacuum at the heart of the Gething faction withing Welsh Labour.

Thank god he will be gone soon.

Llyn
Llyn
19 days ago
Reply to  FrankC

I think you’ll find that in the eyes of the law what this criminal Plaid candidate did is far worse than anything VG has done.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
19 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

You seem to be forgetting the fact that this young woman has been punished, she was fined, banned from driving for 17 months and now has a criminal record. This young woman has been judicially punished, she does not deserve to be punished more. She has done her time.

Honest Welsh
Honest Welsh
19 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

What Vaughan Gething did and is doing
They should throw him out he has dragged the Welsh labour party and the Senedd down the gutter
Not that I condone what this young lady did
It’s already completely idiotic that we got a first minister who supported a criminal who dumped waste then accepted £200 thousand pounds from him
Corruption dishonesty
Comes too mind

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
19 days ago
Reply to  Llyn

False equivalence. Vaughan Gething is in trouble because he blatantly refuses to acknowledge that what he’s done is wrong. This was clear in the debates before the motion of no confidence. Kiera Marshall is remorseful. (And no, I’m not playing down what K.M has done. Just pointing out that its a logical fallacy trying to compare.)

Tom
Tom
20 days ago
Reply to  CapM

What about the comparison made with Jonathan Edwards? He was also punished by the law but was not allowed to stand again. I think most people would be horrified by how far over the limit she was. She could easily have killed someone.

CapM
CapM
20 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Drink driving is a serious offense. And it’s a serious offence that has likely been committed at some time or another by possibly hundreds of thousands of the Welsh public A small number of whom will have been caught and punished. I think that generally the public, if those caught do not reoffend and have not caused damage, injury or worse are more inclined to accept rehabilitation of such offenders than they are for some other serious offences. Of course how long ago the offence was committed, the circumstances and the type of job that’s being sought will also affect… Read more »

R W
R W
20 days ago

Labour’s Harriet Harman has twice been convicted of the equally serious charge of speeding (an offence which has killed many people in the past). Eric Joyce was allowed to continue as a Labour MP after being convicted of drink driving in 2010 and wasn’t suspended from the party until he was involved in a punch-up in a Parliament bar in 2012. Hmm, I think I can smell some two-faced hypocrisy here. Yes, she clearly made a big mistake in her youth, but does that mean she has to pay for it for the rest of her life? On the other… Read more »

Tom
Tom
20 days ago
Reply to  R W

Tell that to Jonathan Edwards! He wasn’t given that chance!!

R W
R W
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

The difference is that Jonathan Edwards was already an elected MP when he committed his offence. I believe that once a person has been elected to high office, they should be held to higher standards, and that includes Harriet Harman.

Tom
Tom
19 days ago
Reply to  R W

So somebody is transformed over night after election??

R W
R W
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Like it or not, that’s what you sign up for when you become an elected politician. Once elected, you pretty much have to be whiter than white.
However, if you also have to be squeaky clean before becoming a politician, then only the dullest people in the world will ever become a politician.

R W
R W
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Like it or not, when you sign up to be a politician, you also sign up to being whiter than white from now on.
However, if you also have to be squeaky clean before becoming a politician, then only the dullest people in the world will ever become a politician.

Glen
Glen
20 days ago

Of course not the first prominent Plaid female with a drunk driving conviction.

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
20 days ago

Plaid Cymru is a disorganised hypocrisy. I cannot unknow what I know. Sadly, I did not learn of so much until my time in the Senedd. Young men allege sexual assaults and what was done? Lobbyists get dodgy contracts which I exposed and I was a gonner; that was the main reason for my exit; I would not look the other way. Some people can be criminals and others not. Don’t forget they allowed Simon Thomas to resign and put me on a disciplinary for saying that convicted paedophile should have gone to jail. Building a new alternative takes time.… Read more »

Kieran
Kieran
19 days ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

Hey look everyone, it’s Neil ‘Woe Is Me’ McEvoy trying to remain relevant. The difference is, Neil, that this young person made a mistake during the midst of a mental health crisis, which she apologised for, accepted the punishment, and moved on… whereas the Controversies section on your Wikipedia page takes quite a long time to read, largely in part to your unwillingness to learn from your mistakes. You’re a known bully who’s repeatedly broken rules.

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
19 days ago
Reply to  Kieran

The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

Kieran
Kieran
19 days ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

It’s not hypocrisy though, is it Neil? There’s a stark difference between a single mistake made during a mental health crisis, and repeated mistakes made over the course of a political career, resulting in the longest section of your biography being the Controversies section! It’s the difference between someone with humility and contrition, and an an impenitent, arrogant bully.

Glen
Glen
19 days ago
Reply to  Kieran

The ‘mental health’ card is no excuse for drunk driving everyone knows it’s wrong regardless of their mental state.

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
19 days ago
Reply to  Kieran

Campaigning for road safety whilst being convicted for drink driving ? You having a laugh?

Byron
Byron
17 days ago
Reply to  Kieran

Pritchard

Glen
Glen
19 days ago
Reply to  Neil McEvoy

I’m sure the Plaid apologists would have been screaming for blood had it been a Tory candidate.

Garycymru
Garycymru
20 days ago

I see the whataboutism brigade are getting themselves warmed up.
Surely if she’s done her time then the issue is over??
There can be no comparison to Vaughan Gething, as she’s been found guilty of an offence, and paid the community back, where he is still lying about his offence and will likely go unpunished.
As long as the Welsh have the pre programmed self loathing, articles like this will be vastly blown out of proportion.

Tom
Tom
19 days ago

Incredible that the official Plaid Cymru account has reposted a tweet suggesting this article was written in response of people being afraid of her standing! The official Plaid Cymru account promoting conspiracy theories rather than thinking it is in the public interest to know a prominent candidate was driving down a busy road well over twice the legal limit

IMG_1536
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Does the Senedd still subsidise the sale of alcohol in its bar…perhaps it should be an alcohol free estate…!

Glen
Glen
19 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Random drug testing should be introduced also.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Glen

Aye, had No 10 Downing Street been ‘sober’ during Covid who knows how many would have lived…

Arthur Owen
Arthur Owen
19 days ago

I voted for Keira Marshall a few days ago,if I had known this I would have thought hard about it,to say the least.

CapM
CapM
19 days ago

Another comment of mine appears to have disappeared! This time along with the comment of Llyn’s I was replying to. Due to experience of similar I made a copy of my comment – I don’t think the two actions (Marshall’s drink driving and Gething accepting the donation) are equivalent. In my opinion the first is bad the other worse. Because you appear to think they are equivalent I’m not sure that you therefore think both or neither should be condemned. My opinion isn’t constrained by what is legal and what is not. The toppling and dumping in Bristol harbour of… Read more »

Jon_S
Jon_S
19 days ago

She was young, she did something incredibly stupid and dangerous, and has been punished. If she is genuinely repentant, then let it go rather than hounding her. I’m sure most of us have done things we bitterly regret.

Cerys
Cerys
19 days ago
Reply to  Jon_S

How can one article be described as ‘hounding’?? She has been campaigning on road safety. Her drink drive conviction whilst being twice over the legal limit is in the public interest. She showed total disregard to the safety of others.

IMG_1542
Cian
Cian
19 days ago

It didnt seem to be a problem when Bethan Jenkins did it

End the UK
End the UK
19 days ago

If she has served her time and has learned from experiences and is able to best advise people on the dangers, then why is it bad campaigning for safer roads after all the courses she has done. Or should I go back to the DVLA and tell them my speed awareness course should be taken away from me. Hmmmmm You know, I love the irony of people, you say criminals should serve time from their crime, but still hold it against them after they served that time and try to better themselves and you won’t give them a chance to… Read more »

Will Jones
Will Jones
17 days ago

Why is she still a candidate?

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