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Plaid Cymru regional candidate steps down over Helen Mary Jones ‘promotion of transphobia’

03 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Helen Mary Jones. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

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

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

Owen who describes themselves as genderqueer said that they “cannot in good conscious stand as a candidate for Plaid whilst they continue to platform a candidate who has promoted, and continues to promote, transphobia”.

A 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.”

Helen Mary Jones, who is the party’s candidate in their main target seat of Llanelli, previously apologised after sharing a tweet criticising those who were equating discrimination faced by the trans community with the Holocaust.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price responded at the time by saying that the party is “committed to the rights of trans people”.

But Owen J Hurcum said that with the “utmost sadness and disappointment” they would be “stepping down as one of Plaid Cymru’s candidates in the 2021 Senedd Election”.

“The decision to resign my candidacy has not been one I have made lightly, and I wish to thank all those who elected me to that position, however I cannot in good conscious stand as a candidate for Plaid whilst they continue to platform a candidate who has promoted, and continues to promote, transphobia,” they said.

“Many members of the party have left in recent months over the transphobic retweets made by Helen Mary Jones and the lackluster response from the party leadership. I had hoped to remain and use my limited influence as Plaid’s only openly trans Senedd candidate to force the Party to tackle this matter head on to ensure that no member, and especially Helen Mary Jones owing to her history, would be able to promote any kind of transphobia from any of their platforms.”

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