Former Plaid MP to stand down at general election

Home UK News Former Plaid MP to stand down at general election
Former Plaid MP to stand down at general election

David Deans,Political reporter, BBC Wales News

BBC Jonathan EdwardsBBC

Jonathan Edwards has been an MP since 2010

A former Plaid Cymru MP who accepted a police caution for assaulting his wife has announced he will not be standing in the general election.

Jonathan Edwards had been considering running against his former party, but on Tuesday said that on “deep reflection” he had decided it was time for him to step down.

Mr Edwards quit Plaid Cymru after former leader Adam Price asked him to leave, amid a row over his membership.

He was suspended from the party in the wake of the assault in May 2020 before being re-instated two years later, prompting his then-wife Emma to say she was “appalled and disappointed” Plaid had allowed him to return.

She said at the time that it sent a message that “survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter”.

In the statement announcing his decision, the MP accused the party of exploiting an incident “in my personal life to try and destroy me”.

“I acted in good faith and trusted the party’s processes,” he said.

Mr Edwards said: “Since the general election was called last week, I have taken the time to consider whether I will be putting my name forward.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been in touch to encourage me to do so, however, upon deep reflection, I have decided that it is time for me to stand down from Westminster.”

Mr Edwards is MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. The seat will be mostly absorbed into the new seat of Caerfyrddin, which will cover the whole of the town of Carmarthen.

Folk singer Dafydd Iwan, who was president of Plaid Cymru until 2010, tweeted before the announcement was made that he hoped Mr Edwards would not stand against Plaid in the election.

“He can then hold his head high, and return to politics if he wants to in the next election to the Welsh Parliament,” he added.

In a statement, Plaid Cymru said the “area has a proud history of electing dedicated and independent-minded representatives who always put their constituency first”.

The statement did not refer to Mr Edwards.

Who are the candidates for Caerfyrddin?

Plaid has selected Carmarthenshire councillor Ann Davies, while former Welsh secretary Simon Hart is expected to stand for the Conservatives in Caerfyddin.

Labour is standing Martha O’Neil.

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