Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, has restored the party whip to Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas today, cancelling any disciplinary proceedings against him.
This afternoon Ms Wood made an announcement in the Senedd which confirmed that she would end the disciplinary proceedings against Lord Elis-Thomas. Ms Wood had the party whip temporarily withdrawn from Lord Elis-Thomas after he missed a crucial vote of no confidence against Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths on Wednesday.
Lord Elis-Thomas remained in Bangor, where he was presiding over graduation ceremonies, despite being ordered to return to Cardiff Bay to take part in the vote.
Today, Plaid sources say Ms Wood did not hold any discussions with the Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM, but has informed all her members how AMs who disagree with party policy will be expected to behave in future.
– Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood AM
Today, I am making a clear statement with regard to how I expect Plaid Cymru to move forward from events of this week. As you will be aware from my own political history, I am a politician which respects independent thought and respects freedom of expression. This is a vital component to a healthy democracy and a healthy politics. Although I do not agree with him, I respect the fact that Dafydd Elis-Thomas does not share the group’s long-held views on protecting core health services at community level, and to have ministerial accountability for the decisions made.
If any member has concerns on issues which they regard as a matter of conscience however this needs to be discussed and argued within the group in order to reach agreement. This is how politics works. It is through debating and discussing ideas and disagreements together, rather than abstaining and not taking part. In future therefore, if the Plaid Cymru group collectively chooses to support an issue and a campaign, I expect all members to unite behind that, unless they are willing to come to the group and explain and discuss why they are unable to do so.
Dafydd Elis-Thomas says he will consider 'the unexpected statement' by Leanne Wood but will not comment further at present.
Today, he was at the last of this week's Bangor University degree ceremonies when he learnt that he's had the Plaid Cymru whip restored and no longer faces disciplinary action.