Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins arrested for drink-driving

She was arrested for drink driving in the early hours of Sunday and has since been suspended from her party

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A Plaid Cymru Welsh assembly member has been arrested for drink-driving.

Bethan Jenkins was arrested in Cardiff in the early hours of Sunday morning and has been bailed by police. She has not been charged.

The South Wales West regional member, who has been suspended from her party's group in the assembly, said she was "profoundly sorry" for her actions.

In a statement she said she had been receiving professional medical help for depression.

'Reckless'

A spokesperson for the Plaid Cymru group in the National Assembly said: "Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol is a reckless and irresponsible act, and we regard this incident with the utmost seriousness.

Start Quote

This is something I deeply regret and I will fully accept the punishment I am given”

End Quote Bethan Jenkins Plaid Cymru AM

"Bethan Jenkins has been suspended from the group while the process of justice takes its course."

In her statement, Ms Jenkins, 30, said there were "no excuses" for what she had done.

First elected in 2007, she is the youngest member of the assembly.

She said she had resigned her position as the party's spokeswoman on heritage, the Welsh language and sport.

"In the early hours of Sunday morning I drove from a friend's house, where I was staying, in the direction of my home, whilst under the influence of alcohol," she said.

"There are no excuses for what I did, and I am profoundly sorry.

Plaid Cymru have suspended Bethan Jenkins from the group.

That means she remains a member of the assembly but essentially an independent member. She is not accountable to that group and she can't remain a front bench spokeswoman.

Plaid have made it clear that it might be not the end of the matter; they're waiting to see what the police decide.

The other parties are treading carefully, partly out of respect for the very open statement Bethan Jenkins has made, mentioning her depression.

But also bear in mind, other parties have had their own issues with assembly members who have had a drink or two.

There were questions then about whether there is a so-called drinking culture in and around Cardiff Bay and the assembly and with this suspension I think that is question that is bound to be asked again.

"I am fully aware of the seriousness of this incident, and the danger, to myself and to others, of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol."

She went onto say: "This is something I deeply regret and I will fully accept the punishment I am given.

Medical help

"In recent weeks I have been receiving help from a medical professional and a counsellor to deal with a recognised health problem.

"There is no excuse for this incident but I am clear that I now need to address this issue as a matter of urgency.

"As such, I am receiving professional medical support for depression, something I am only beginning to come to terms with.

"I would like to thank the police for ensuring the safety of others and that of myself in the action they took, and I apologise profusely to them for adding to their already difficult workload," she added.

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said: "At around 1:40am on Sunday October 14 in Llandaff, Cardiff, a 30-year-old woman from Neath was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries."

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