Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has cancelled disciplinary proceedings against Dafydd Elis-Thomas and restored the party whip to him after he refused to attend a hearing on why he failed to support a vote of no confidence in the health minister, Lesley Griffiths.
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.
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.
– Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM
It is not and never will be acceptable that statements are made to the press before they are shared within the party team. The party has always valued its unity of purpose. The whip has never before been withdrawn from an elected member of Plaid Cymru. I do not expect, and will not accept, the party being placed in this position again. Dafydd’s future role in Welsh politics is of course a matter for him. Whatever Dafydd decides to do we will respect his decision, but it is my wish to bring this matter, and this process to an end now and move on.
The Plaid leader also said that there is little doubt that the events of the past few days have been damaging to Plaid Cymru. She added that she had every confidence that Dafydd Elis-Thomas will respect how the party's group of AMs will operate in future.