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YesCymru Chair steps down to help oversee probe into organisation’s board

19 Mar 2024 4 minute read
YesCymru independence march in Merthyr Tydfil. Lluniau gan / Pictures by Lluniau Lleucu

Emily Price

YesCymru’s Chair has stepped down in order to help oversee a probe into complaints about the pro-independence organisation’s board, it has been announced.

Outgoing Chair Elfed Williams had moved in and out of the role on several occasions over the last to two years.

He told Nation.Cymru he will now help “facilitate” an independent investigation into the recent controversies surrounding the organisation’s National Governing Body (NGB).

YesCymru director and Welsh language tutor, Phyl Griffiths will take over the post of Chair instead.

The group’s board came under fire last year over its decision to sack former CEO Gwern Gwynfil via email.

Two directors who raised concerns about whether the move was justified were also ousted.

The board was later accused of  “corrupt practices, bullying and secrecy” as well as “rigging votes for motions”.

Following the controversies, two more directors stepped down voluntarily.

A leaked video of a YesCymru board meeting revealed the scale of the chaos going on behind the scenes at the organisation.

Dismissal

Concerns were raised by several directors about a legal bill racked up by former Chair, Barry Parkin who was appointed following the dismissal of the CEO in December.

Mr Parkin had taken over the role from former Chair, Elfed Williams.

Mr Williams had only been back in the post a few weeks before the election of the board’s newest Chair was announced this week.

Phyl Griffiths was elected by his fellow directors at a meeting of its NGB in Aberystwyth.

He is one of 3 directors representing the south east Wales region on the YesCymru board and is a founding member of YesCymru Merthyr.

Mr Griffiths helped organise the YesCymru march in Merthyr Tydfil in 2019 which attracted over 5,000 people.

He said: “Privilege and honour were the main feelings when I received the invitation from my fellow directors to become chairman of an organisation that means so much to so many of us.

“Having said that, there is no time to reflect on that too much as there is plenty of work to be done in order to realize the exciting plans we are currently drawing up to develop and expand the appeal of YesCymru and make it relevant to everyone in Wales.”

Probe

Outgoing Chair Elfed Williams will now work with two other representatives to help facilitate the independent investigation.

YesCymru say facilitators will not influence the probe but are in place to make sure “voices and concerns” are heard.

It comes following another independent investigation in January which concluded “the purported dismissal of the two co-opted directors was unlawfully done and as a result is null and void.”

YesCymru’s board dissolved the disciplinary panel and did not follow through with any its recommendations.

The agreement to appoint facilitators for the newest investigation was made at a meeting with representatives from all five regions.

YesCymru’s board says the role of facilitators is purely to assist in making sure that the process of the investigation is carried out as smoothly as possible.

Elfed Williams said: “I welcome the fact that Phyl Griffiths has been elected as the new Chair as he is always brimming with energy and creative ideas which he applies to campaigns, events as well as collaboration with other organisations.

“Phyl’s flair, hard work and positivity will drive the movement forward and I know he will inspire many more people to join our cause.

“I will continue to work to support the Board and new Chair but over the coming months I will be working with two other representatives, one from Yes Caerdydd and the other from Yes Abertawe in helping to facilitate the Independent Investigation after the appointment of Elfyn Llwyd into that role and which will report back to members its findings in the Autumn.”

YesCymru says the independent investigation is being taken seriously.

The board says Elfyn Llwyd has a background in law and politics and is approaching the investigation with “no fear or favour” and will be listening to all concerned before completing his findings.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
23 days ago

I take some confidence from the contents of this article as I was considering cancelling my monthly payment to Yes Cymru. It felt to me at the distance I am away from it that the organisation was being derailed by infiltrators which I found very depressing as Yes Cymru provides the best and possibly only opportunity to free our country. It must re-emerge stronger from this point and get back to what it is meant to be doing with everyone behind the vehicle pushing it forward to the finish line marked ‘Annibyniaeth’.

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
23 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Llygad dy le. Ymlaen mae Canaan.

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
23 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Go to the Canary for a more positive vibe on the story.

Richard E
Richard E
23 days ago

We must look FORWARD not back
YMLAEN at y Cam nesa plîs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿……….
Only the one lesson is needed …. . “ Mewn undeb mae nerth “

hdavies15
hdavies15
23 days ago

Is YC a movement or a party, or even a business ?Sounds like a lot of convoluted rule making ( with attendant breaking of rules shortly later) just to keep manipulators happy and people jockeying for position. Keep it simple boys and girls, you know what the goal is. Or has that been forgotten ?

Jones
Jones
23 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

It’s a business, company limited by guarantee.

That Ben
That Ben
23 days ago

Only those too rowdy to be governed have their own governments.

Annibendod
Annibendod
23 days ago

Waw! How much dirty washing does one organisation want to produce, let alone hanging it all out in public? What a total waste of everyone’s time and energy! Is this what YesCymru was set up for? Mae traean o drigolion Cymru heb ei eni ‘ma, mae’r iaith yn cilio o’r cadarnleoedd ac mae mwy a mwy o bobl Cymru’n uniaethu’n Brydeinig ei genedl. Ond o leia fe allwn ni ddal cael cweryl ymhlith ein gilydd fel da ni eisioes wedi gwneud. Na ddefnydd arbennig o’n hamser a’n hegni a’n hadnoddau. Am arylith!

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
23 days ago

Spent force.

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