ADAM Price said as leader of Plaid Cymru he could not comment on Leanne Wood’s call for MP Jonathan Edwards to be permanently kicked out of the party.
The MP, who currently sits as an independent, was suspended for a year by Plaid Cymru after accepting a caution for assault at his home in May 2020.
Price was appearing on the BBC’s Politics Wales program when asked about comments his predecessor Leanne Wood made in her column today in The National.
In his column, Wood said the party should permanently exclude Edwards who represents Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in Parliament, the same seat Price represents in the Senedd.
Wood wrote, “If Plaid Cymru is serious about eradicating misogyny and domestic violence, there can be no turning back for him either.”
At present, Edwards remains an independent MP having not sought to join the Plaid Cymru group in Westminster when his one-year suspension from the party ended in July last year.
You can read Leanne Wood’s exclusive column in full here.
Presenter James Williams put Wood’s comments that “the permanent ban message would be positive and signal a change” to Price and asked, “how do you respond to that?”
The Plaid leader then said party rules meant he could not comment on a specific case.
He said: “The party reacted quickly in this particular case and, as you know, James, I am prohibited under our party rules from making any public statements regarding specific cases. They are decided in our party by the membership, standards and discipline committee.
Williams then chimed in, “And this committee hasn’t decided to permanently exclude him.”
Price continued, “Former leaders and all other members of Plaid Cymru are free to comment, me as leader cannot.”
Edwards was suspended from Plaid in July 2020, two months after his arrest at his home.
He was arrested in May 2020 and had accepted a police warning for assault.
In a statement released on behalf of Jonathan Edwards at the time, he said: “I am deeply sorry. This is by far the greatest regret of my life.”
A statement on behalf of his wife Emma Edwards said she had accepted his apology and said: “As far as I am concerned, the matter is now closed.”
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The Plaid chief was also asked to respond to Wood’s comments that Plaid’s “codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures…fail women.”
Price said: “I agree that misogyny has no place in our politics. I am appalled by the stories we have seen recently. We have to accept that this is universal across society.
He said as leader he had put in place a ‘comprehensive set’ of policies to look at how ‘we are becoming an inclusive party’, including tasking Senedd member Sian Gwenllian with investigating the experiences women in our party.
“As a result, we are implementing a range of measures to ensure that Plaid Cymru becomes a safe and inclusive space for women. We want to be the party for all of Wales and we do not want to see any discriminatory culture or practice within our party and it is absolutely essential that we continue to implement these proposals.
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