1. ITV Report

Plaid Cymru AM censured for misuse of Senedd

Neil McEvoy is back in the Plaid Cymru Assembly group after serving his suspension Photo: Senedd TV

Plaid Cymru AM Neil McEvoy has admitted that he broke the Assembly's rules during the period when he was sitting as an independent after being suspended by his party group. Mr McEvoy, who also leads the Plaid Cymru councillors on Cardiff City Council, called a press conference in the Senedd where he talked about Plaid's local election campaign pledges in Cardiff.

Mr McEvoy had been suspended from the Plaid Group after a local government adjudication panel found that he had bullied a council official by saying that he couldn't wait to restructure the way Cardiff was run. At the press conference he highlighted that his local party had backed him by making restructuring the council's senior management its top election pledge.

I decided to hold a press conference ... to make it clear that, despite my suspension, my work as a campaigning Assembly Member and member of Plaid Cymru would carry on as before.

By showing the proposed seven pledges at the press conference, I was demonstrating that I had the full backing of my party in Cardiff. However, I was asked questions about these pledges, in particular the restructure pledge relevant to my suspension, and I accept this may have given the impression that the press conference was a launch of Plaid Cymru’s consultation on these pledges.

This was not appropriate. I accept that it was in breach of the Code of Conduct. However, I wish to emphasise that it was never my intention to contravene the Code of Conduct and I wholeheartedly and sincerely apologise, without reservation, for having done so.

– Neil McEvoy AM

The Assembly's Clerk asked its Commissioner for Standards, Sir Roderick Evans, to investigate. He's now reported to the Standards Committee that Neil McEvoy has admitted breaking the rules and apologised. The committee of four AMs, representing the different political groups, has decided that Mr McEvoy should be formally censured but not face any other disciplinary action. The Assembly is expected to formally endorse the committee's decision when AMs return from the summer recess.