Wales politics

Neil McEvoy feared five year exclusion from Plaid Cymru

Neil McEvoy
Image caption Neil McEvoy: "I wasn't going to attend my own political execution"

Former Plaid Cymru AM Neil McEvoy withdrew his application to rejoin the party for fear of being excluded for five years, he has said.

He dropped his membership bid on Wednesday alleging a lack of "natural justice" and "due process".

Under party rules an applicant bidding to rejoin after an initial year's exclusion is rejected, may not then reapply for another five years.

The procedures were described by a Plaid spokesman as "fair and robust".

They are designed to prevent people from reapplying time and time again without any change in circumstances.

South Wales Central AM Mr McEvoy told journalists on Thursday: "I didn't think it was an honourable thing for me to go into a panel meeting knowing I'd be thrown out for five years.

"I feel that would have been letting members of Plaid down, it would have been enabling a huge error to take place as well."

"I wasn't going to attend my own political execution," he added later.

Plaid Cymru expelled Mr McEvoy, who is also a Cardiff councillor, in 2018 over allegations of disruptive behaviour at a party conference.

He had already been thrown out of the party's group in the Welsh Assembly.

Image caption Neil McEvoy had been expelled from both Plaid Cymru and the party's assembly group

Mr McEvoy intends to stand as an assembly candidate in the 2021 election and is keen to represent Plaid Cymru in the Cardiff West constituency currently held by Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Being excluded for five years would have prevented him from being a candidate for the party.

Despite his decision on Wednesday, Mr McEvoy said reapplying to Plaid Cymru remains "a strong possibility".

"You run away to fight another day," he added.

He also claimed to have previously offered to have conditions imposed on his membership, adding he would have accepted "almost" any constraint "within reason".

'Constant review'

A Plaid Cymru spokesman said: "We can confirm that the standing orders do include a provision for a five year delay if a member is excluded from the party and, upon reapplication, is found by the Standards, Membership and Discipline Committee not to be admissible as a member.

"Our standing orders are kept under constant review by the National Executive Committee and we are confident that those standing orders are fair and robust."

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