AMs go ahead with a censure vote against Bethan Jenkins despite her absence from the chamber to attend a rally for Visteon pensioners in London.
Bethan Jenkins has taken to Twitter to answer criticism of her decision to miss a vote of censure on her in the Assembly and instead attend a protest in London by former Visteon workers who've lost their pensions.
– Bethan Jenkins AM on Twitter
I have apologised many times 2 public, 2 my constituents. 700 people from my area needed me in London today.
AMs went ahead in her absence to censure Bethan Jenkins for her drink-driving conviction. She responded to criticism from the Liberal Democrat Peter Black for staying away from the Senedd.
– Bethan Jenkins AM on Twitter
Dont be so petty Peter, seriously now. Judge me on what I do and say, respectfully.
– Peter Black AM on Twitter
I am not judging you but your absence is disrespectful to the Assembly. This is not a petty issue
AMs have passed a vote of censure on Bethan Jenkins for bringing the Assembly into disrepute. They went ahead although the Plaid Cymru AM was not in the chamber and her party had offered to agree to a delay so that she could attend. She was criticised for attending a protest in London instead.
– Assembly Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler AM
It is a matter for an individual member whether they attend Assembly business, though I would always expect it to be your top priority. I am sure Bethan Jenkins will wish to reflect on the record of today's debate.
The Plaid Cymru Whip, Jocelyn Davies has told AMs that Bethan Jenkins missed the censure vote over her drink-driving conviction because she joined former Visteon workers protesting in London at their loss of pensions. Ms Davies said Plaid would support delaying the censure motion if AMs wanted.
Bethan Jenkins is not here. She did in fact seek permission from me in January to attend [the Visteon protest]. We did not know that this was going to fall on the day. She felt that she wanted to do that because of how supportive the campaigners were to her during her recent illness [when she was treated for depression].
– Plaid Cymru Whip Jocelyn Davies AM
If members feel that this item would be better dealt with in the presence of Bethan Jenkins, we would certainly support a delay so that she can be here -and I know that Bethan would support that.
Assembly Members have passed a motion of censure on Bethan Jenkins, following the Plaid Cymru AM's conviction for drink driving. She was not in the Senedd for the debate and was criticised for not following the example of Keith Davies, the Labour AM who apologised when he was censured last year.
– Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black
[Keith Davies] stood before us and apologised in person. That was appropriate and honourable. [Bethan Jenkins] is not even in the chamber. I consider that absence to be disrespectful. I would have expected that she would have publicly repeated to us the apology that she reportedly gave to her group [of Plaid Cymru AMs] for her behaviour. I am sorry that has not happened.