Plaid Cymru has been thrown into turmoil following claims that the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards has been denied the Whip by the party’s national executive committee.

This would effectively mean that Mr Edwards has been expelled from Plaid Cymru. Whilst he can continue serving as an MP, he can only do so as an Independent member.

The decision, which has been described as ‘unprecedented and blatantly unfair’, has prompted the resignation of executive committee chairman, Alun Ffred Jones and, according to Mr Edwards, is understood to have been against the wishes of the Parliamentary Leader Liz Saville Roberts.

South Wales Guardian: Liz Saville Roberts who is understood to have opposed the executive committee's decisionLiz Saville Roberts who is understood to have opposed the executive committee's decision

“I’ve fought and won four elections and no one has served the seat for as long as I have, namely 14 years,” said Jonathan Edwards following Saturday’s announcement. “Do I have anything left to prove?”

Jonathan Edwards was suspended from Plaid Cymru for 12 months in July 2020 after accepting a police caution on suspicion of assaulting his former wife.

Once the suspension was served and Mr Edwards’ membership of the party was restored, he expected to appear before the disciplinary panel ‘to demonstrate his period of self-reflection and learn to address his actions’.

But Mr Edwards claims this was denied him by the executive committee.

“It was a purely political forum which was going way outside the party’s standing orders and rules and is also against the instruction of the chair,” said Mr Edwards. “This sets a very dangerous precedent."

Meanwhile Mr Edwards is eager to speak with his constituents to discuss the way ahead.

“My concern is that they weren’t consulted in any way,  shape or form. I now look forward to discussing the way forward with them over the coming weeks before making any decision about my political future or issuing any further statement.”

But in a statement issued by Plaid Cymru yesterday (Monday, July 18),  the same panel which imposed Jonathan Edwards' 12-month suspension in July 2020 has now reconvened at the MP's request.

The statement confirms that 'the suspension of Mr Edwards’ party membership should be lifted with immediate effect'.

  "In arriving at its decision, the panel agreed that Jonathan Edwards had satisfied the conditions placed upon him at the point of his suspension", said the statement.

  "The suspension imposed in July 2020 reflected the seriousness with which the panel dealt with the matter and reinforced its unequivocal stance that all forms of harassment, abuse and violence are unacceptable. 

  "The decision recognises Mr Edwards’ sincere remorse and extended period of self-reflection and learning". 

Plaid Cymru concluded by saying the internal process of determining Mr Edwards’ membership of the Westminster group is yet to be concluded.

Meanwhile Plaid Cymru has thanked Alun Ffred Jones for his 'many years of unstinting loyalty and service to the party'.

The vice chair, Beca Brown, will chair until the annual conference when the position will be up for election.