Wales politics

Plaid Cymru AMs opposed to Neil McEvoy joining party

Neil McEvoy Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Neil McEvoy is bidding to rejoin Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru AMs are opposed to Neil McEvoy's application to re-join the party, BBC Wales has been told.

New details have emerged of allegations that led the party's AMs to expel him from their Senedd group last year.

A document seen by Newyddion 9 alleged Mr McEvoy had accused a colleague of racism based on an untrue allegation and made staff feel uncomfortable.

Mr McEvoy said he could not reply to the claims because of confidentiality.

The South Wales Central AM was expelled from the party's assembly group in January 2018. He was later expelled from Plaid for 12 months following an investigation into his conduct.

It is understood that his former colleagues in the party group oppose his bid to be reinstated as a Plaid member, although leader Adam Price has not been involved in any discussions between the assembly members.

One AM said it would be "impracticable" for Mr McEvoy to rejoin the party and not the Welsh Assembly group.

Evidence submitted to Plaid Cymru's general council, shown to Newyddion 9, has revealed the extent of the apparent breakdown in the relationship between Mr McEvoy and Plaid AMs between 2016 and 2018.

In the document, which explains the decision to expel him from the group, the AMs claimed Mr McEvoy had:

  • threatened to resign in the first group meeting after the 2016 election
  • made an unfounded claim that ex-leader Leanne Wood told the group that non-whites were deliberately excluded from air time in the Westminster election
  • accused a colleague of racism based on an untrue allegation
  • undermined a member of staff in an email with a journalist
  • adopted an aggressive tone
  • submitted a Subject Access Request to Leanne Wood, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Dai Lloyd and Bethan Sayed asking for "all personal data about me"
  • made staff feel uncomfortable

Mr McEvoy said: "I'm unable to comment as I respect the confidentiality of the (application) process".

Image caption Heledd Gwyndaf said Neil McEvoy was a "hard-working, principled" and effective AM

Heledd Gwyndaf, a member of Plaid Cymru, defended his right to rejoin the party.

She said: "Neil McEvoy is a hard-working, principled and very effective AM; and if Plaid Cymru want to win the next assembly elections in 2021 and if Adam Price is to become the first minister of Wales, then I think they have to get Neil McEvoy back".

"But the real story here is why has this story been released to the press... and for what purpose," she added.

Mr McEvoy launched a bid to rejoin Plaid Cymru earlier this year.

The decision fell to a disciplinary committee, which failed to reach a decision when it met to consider Mr McEvoy's request to return to Plaid Cymru.

It was set to hold another meeting, but following leaks to the press the committee asked party bosses to wind it up and find new members.

BBC Wales understands the committee has been disbanded - delaying Mr McEvoy's bid to rejoin the party.

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