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Monday, August 15, 2022

Plaid leader speaks out at last

The Independent reports that Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has called for Jonathan Edwards, the MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, who was cautioned by police for assaulting his wife, to “immediately” stand down.

Edwards had been suspended since July 2020, but on Thursday the party said he was being readmitted to its Westminster group. His estranged wife Emma Edwards said she was “appalled” by the move – saying that it sent out the message “that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter”:

On Saturday Mr Edwards said he would not be re-joining his party’s group at Westminster in order to allow for a “period of calm reflection”.

Party leader Adam Price then called on him to step down as an MP and quit the party altogether, as he promised a review of the party’s disciplinary procedures to be carried out as a matter of “urgency”.

Price said in a statement posted on Twitter: “As stated, it is my firm belief that Jonathan Edwards cannot continue to represent Plaid Cymru in Westminster and should resign immediately.”

“I also call on Jonathan Edwards to leave the party,” the leader added. “His actions do not represent our values and his position as an MP sends the wrong message out to domestic abuse survivors in Wales and beyond.”

Of course, because of the laws of natural justice, party leaders do not have any influence over disciplinary processes, but that does not excuse the fact that it has taken two years for Adam Price to make this statement.

When asked why that was on Radio Wales, Price said that he felt compelled to speak now, after Jonathan Edwards had been reinstated as a Plaid member, because of Emma Edwards' statement.

What was not clear however, was whether Emma Edwards was asked her opinion, prior to the reinstatement of her ex-husband. If not, why not? Surely, if Plaid are committed to protecting the victims and survivors of abuse, then seeking Emma Edwards' view should have been a priority.

Instead, the party is flailing around trying to contain a growing scandal, and in doing so, making it worse.
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