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Plaid Cymru MS issues apology to the trans community

10 Mar 2021 4 minutes Read
Helen Mary Jones. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

A Plaid Cymru MS has issued an apology to the trans community.

Helen Mary Jones, issued a personal statement from her Twitter account,  that said she has “taken time to reflect” on her past comments and actions that “caused a lot of hurt and harm to a lot of people” and none more so than the trans community.

A Plaid Cymru regional candidate has said that they are standing down after being unable to share a platform with Helen Mary Jones because of her past statments.

Owen Hurcum, who is the Deputy Mayor of Bangor, was the fourth Plaid Cymru candidate on the North Wales regional list.

Hurcum said that they could not “in good conscious stand as a candidate for Plaid whilst they continue to platform a candidate who has promoted, and continues to promote, transphobia”.

Helen Mary Jones said: “I have taken time to reflect and to understand how the actions and comments that I have made and shared on social media and elsewhere, including historic comments that have resurfaced, have caused a lot of hurt and harm to a lot of people. None more so than the trans community.

“I specifically recognise that some of the accounts I follow and retweet have shared content which is unacceptable and transphobic and I very much regret the impact of this on individuals as well as on the trans community more broadly.

“For this, I sincerely apologise to the trans community for the pain and hurt I have caused. I am still learning.

“I fully support Plaid Cymru’s clear and unequivocal commitment to trans equality, including supporting the reform of the GRA to introduce a streamlined, de-medicalised process based on selfdeclaration (and in line with international best practice) alongside campaigning to have the right to legislate on equality matters devolved, so that the Senedd will have the appropriate power to protect trans people and others who suffer prejudice and discrimination.”

‘Inalienable right’ 

She added: “I also fully support Plaid Cymru’s commitment that all people should have the inalienable right to determine, and live in accordance with, their own gender identity – and that this should include the right to access services and facilities in line with their gender identity.

“I believe that trans people have the inalienable right to live free from prejudice, discrimination, and persecution. Furthermore, I, along with other Plaid Cymru elected members and candidates will be undertaking relevant awareness training carried out by an external organisation recognised by the trans community.

“Whilst I understand it will be up to the trans community whether or not it accepts my apology, I make this promise to you today that my words will be followed by positive action on trans equality, working with party colleagues to ensure that Plaid Cymru is a safe and welcoming place for all.

“This will be the last post I will publish on this twitter account before deactivating it within the next few hours. My focus remains on building a free and fair Wales with equality for all and winning Llanelli for Plaid in May 2021.

Following the resignation of Owen Hurcum as a candidate, Plaid Cymru spokesperson responded to say: “Plaid Cymru has a clear and unequivocal policy, backed by its National Council, that trans people have the inalienable right to live free from prejudice, discrimination and persecution.

“Plaid Cymru supports equality for trans people and will continue to campaign to have the right to legislate on equality matters devolved, so that the Senedd will have the appropriate power to protect trans people and others who suffer prejudice and discrimination.”

More to follow…

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