Plaid Cymru ‘considering carefully’ statement by ‘appalled’ wife assaulted by reinstated MP
Plaid Cymru have said that they are “considering carefully” the implications of a statement by a wife assaulted by an MP reinstated to the party.
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.
The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP was banned from the party for 12 months in 2020 after receiving a warning from the police about an assault on his wife, and he has sat as an independent MP in Westminster ever since, but had the whip restored this week.
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, 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.
Party chair Beca Brown took to Twitter to say: “Diolch Emma am dy ddewrder. Thank you so much for your bravery.”
Former party president Dafydd Iwan also took to social media to say in Welsh that “Emma’s words put a different perspective on things. It seems that reconciliation and love are now irrelevant / impossible, unfortunately.”
Emma and Jonathan Edwards married in 2012 and are in the process of getting divorced.
“In May 2020 I called the police after being assaulted by my husband at our home,” she told the BBC.
“At the time I was in shock, denial and I was hopeful that we would be able to reconcile.
“Even though Jonathan attended an online domestic abuse course, he did not accept responsibility for what happened, minimising the incident.
“This meant that there was not going to be any reconciliation. I was perhaps naive to think that there could be.”
She added that a statement at the time in which she accepted her husband’s apology, was “drafted for me by Jonathan’s press officer at the time and I was told that it would be the best way to stop it being a story”.
“I now regret saying those words,” she said, “as they have been used to excuse Jonathan’s actions.
“I have since learned that he is presenting himself as the victim in all of this and this is why I am now seeking to set the record straight.
“I am appalled and disappointed that the party I was until recently a member of has accepted a domestic abuser to represent them as an MP.
“This sends the message that women don’t matter and that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter. I always believed Plaid Cymru to be better than this.
“Until now, I have maintained silence. I am not a political person and I do not seek publicity… I cannot stand by and watch the truth being distorted as it has been.”
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