Plaid Cymru Councillor suspended from party over gun-pose Facebook post
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A Plaid Cymru councillor has been suspended from the party after he made “xenophobic” comments on social media.
In a post to his personal Facebook page, Caerphilly County Borough councillor Jon Scriven appears to be holding a rifle on a beach.
Alongside the photo he wrote: “Ogmore-by-Sea tonight for a quick swim and make sure there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel.”
Plaid Cymru has said an investigation has been launched into the post, which received criticism from politicians across Wales.
A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “Councillor Scriven’s now deleted post was inappropriate and goes against Plaid Cymru’s views and values.
“All Plaid Cymru elected representatives have a duty to uphold the highest standards. Councillor Scriven has been suspended pending an investigation.”
Cllr Scriven has since apologised for the post. In a statement he said: “I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my now deleted Facebook post. It was ill-judged and I have apologised to the group leader Lindsay Whittle who has accepted my apology.”
The boxing coach remains as an elected councillor representing the Penyrheol ward.
Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council Sean Morgan described Cllr Scriven’s Facebook post as “irresponsible” and one that has many connotations.”
The Labour councillor for Nelson said: “I feel, as leader of the council, that clearly this is xenophobic and falls well below the standards expected of a councillor.
“What’s even more concerning is that Lindsay Whittle put a heart next to the post, meaning he likes it. This is clearly a case for the Ombudsman.”
The Ombudsman is an independent body that is able to investigate members conduct.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies had responded to the post yesterday to say that he was “speechless”.
“This is a Plaid Cymru councillor. [Plaid Cymru leader] Adam Price cannot let another scandal rage on without decisive action. This sort of xenophobic attitude is beneath us.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats had earlier called on Plaid Cymru to suspend the councillor, with a spokesperson stating that there was “a clear implication of violence and xenophobia in this post”.
“Whether or not it was intended as a joke or not, it is entirely inappropriate for an elected official to make such comments, when they should know better.
“With so much hate in politics the last few years we should be trying to build bridges, not stoke division further.
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