Wales politics

Plaid Cymru: Adam Price 'horrified' at abuse of women in party

Adam Price
Image caption Adam Price blamed a "small and vocal minority" for the problem

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price says he is "horrified" at abuse aimed at women in his party.

In an article he said his party was not "insulated" from a "global wave of prejudice, intolerance and misogyny".

Mr Price blamed a "small and vocal minority" but did not name the individuals involved.

A review has been launched into the experiences of women and under-represented groups in Plaid Cymru.

The comments came in an article on Nation.Cymru, where Mr Price says he will resist an attempt by supporters of expelled former member Neil McEvoy to get elected to prominent posts in the party.

Mr Price said: "The regrettable reality is that we live in a time where vitriol and bile are the backdrop to politics globally."

"We have to be honest that Wales, and indeed even our national movement, are not insulated from this global wave of prejudice, intolerance and misogyny," he said.

He added: "The kind of abuse that I have seen aimed at women in our party recently by a small but vocal minority is not consistent with the principles of Plaid Cymru or, for that matter, the values espoused by the vast majority in the wider movement.

"I have been horrified by what I have seen and, as leader, I want to be clear that I will not tolerate it."

Image caption Bethan Sayed said she received more online abuse after the article was published

Mr Price has asked Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian, who is Plaid Cymru's elected director of equalities, "to conduct a review of the experiences of women and other under-represented groups".

Ms Gwenllian will look at the extent "outdated prejudices are deterring women and others from engaging or advancing in our party", and make recommendations to Mr Price and the party's ruling national executive committee.

South Wales West Plaid AM Bethan Sayed said the publication of Mr Price's article had already led to more online attacks on her.

"I'm absolutely sick of it now to be honest," she tweeted. "Do you not have better things to do, people to see, things to do? Clearly not. Sad times."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Plaid Cymru has four MPs in Westminster, and ten AMs in the National Assembly for Wales

Mr Price also cited reports of a "coordinated effort to suborn our internal elections to the national executive committee [NEC], due to take place at our annual party conference in the autumn".

The constituency party for Plaid Cymru Cardiff West - where Neil McEvoy is based - has made eight nominations to the NEC, including Dewi Evans as chair.

They include Jonathan Gwyn Edwards, who has acted as Mr McEvoy's barrister, for director of policy and Heledd Gwyndaf, who has spoken in support of Mr McEvoy in the past, for director of communications.

Mr Price said: "These efforts - from outwith our membership - achieve nothing but the stoking of factionalism and division inside our party. They could also be fatal to our mission to form our country's next government."

"Such efforts are never acceptable - in any political party. And as leader, I cannot and will not allow that to happen.

"My personal appeal to all members of Plaid Cymru and all those involved in the national movement who share my vision of victory in 2021: let us reject this attempt to divide us."

Plaid Cymru expelled Mr McEvoy, a South Wales Central AM and a Cardiff councillor, in March 2018 over allegations of disruptive behaviour at a party conference.

He was expelled from the National Assembly Plaid Cymru group in January 2018 after a "breakdown of trust", caused in part by a demand by the AM to see correspondence about him from his colleagues.

Dr Dewi Evans denied that he was engaging in "factionalism".

"I have never been involved in any kind of faction within Plaid ever," he said.

Dr Evans said he would welcome Mr McEvoy back into the party. "He has a crucial role to play as a very organised and committed campaigner," he said.

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