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Neil McEvoy suspended from Plaid group for second time

The Plaid Cymru AM Neil McEvoy has been suspended from the party's Assembly group for a second time.

In an email to members, Plaid leader Leanne Wood said the group took what she called 'the difficult decision' because of Mr McEvoy's breach of 'numerous Assembly Group Standing Orders and our agreed Code of Conduct [which] has caused distraction and disruption.'

He was first suspended by the group in March after an Adjudication Panel found he'd bullied a Cardiff Council employee in his role as a Cardiff councillor. Mr McEvoy was suspended as a councillor for a month but denied any wrongdoing. He later rejoined the Plaid Cymru group after agreeing to accept the ruling.

He was also censured in August for breaking Assembly rules.

An internal investigation was launched into complaints against the AM in March. A disciplinary panel was held last Thursday to consider those complaints.

You can read Leanne Wood's email to members in full below:

As we embark on a new term in the Senedd, the work of our Assembly Group is more important than ever.

The Labour Welsh Government’s poor record of running our public services requires intense scrutiny and the case must be made for protecting our nation from the UK Government’s damaging EU Withdrawal Bill.

Unity and mutual respect within the Group are crucial factors if we are to carry out this work with success and fulfil our duty to the people of Wales. It is true, however, that the past few months have seen those values undermined.

That is why, today, we have taken the difficult decision to suspend Neil McEvoy AM from the Plaid Cymru Assembly Group for clearly breaching rules he and all Group members had signed up to regarding our expected conduct as Plaid Cymru AMs and representatives of the party.

His breach of numerous Assembly Group Standing Orders and our agreed Code of Conduct has caused distraction and disruption.

As Leader, I cannot allow elected members to act in a way which is detrimental to the party.

We are a party and most importantly, a team. It is my duty not to allow behaviour which undermines its unity and integrity.

I now look forward to the Assembly Group being able to move on strong and united, fully focused on the task of holding the Labour Government to account and offering people effective representation at every level in all parts of Wales.

– Leanne Wood AM, Plaid Cymru leader