Jonathan Edwards MP has Plaid Cymru whip restored after caution for assaulting wife

Edwards was suspended from the party in 2020 when he accepted a police caution after he was arrested on suspicion of assault Credit: House of Commons

Jonathan Edwards will sit again as a Plaid Cymru MP, having been suspended for two years following a police caution for assaulting his wife.

The Carmathen East and Dinefwr MP has once again expressed "deep remorse" and said that "the past two years have been a period of deep reflection."

In May 2020, he accepted a police caution after he was arrested on suspicion of assault , an incident he described at the time as "by far the biggest regret of my life."

His return comes after a split amongst the party's ruling body over the matter which saw the previous chair resign.

The disciplinary panel which first suspended him for 12 months in July 2020 met again last month and decided to allow him to become a Plaid Cymru member again, but the party's ruling National Executive Committee decided that he should not be allowed to rejoin the Westminster group of MPs. 

Jonathan Edwards has served as MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr since 2010 Credit: Plaid Cymru

It was that decision which caused Alun Ffred Jones, a former Senedd member, to quit as chair of the party. 

The current chair of Plaid Cymru, Beca Brown, said: "The suspension of membership reflected the serious nature of Mr Edwards' police caution and Plaid Cymru's unequivocal stance that all forms of harassment, abuse and violence are unacceptable."

However she added that that the disciplinary panel had "unanimously agreed that he had satisfied the conditions placed upon him" when it recommended that he be allowed to resume his membership. 

"In lifting the suspension," she said, "the panel also acknowledged Mr Edwards' contrition and period of self-reflection."

She said that "having received further procedural advice Plaid Cymru has now notified Mr Edwards that the processes relating to his membership of the Westminster group has concluded.  The whip has been restored to Mr Edwards."

Jonathan Edwards has issued a statement, saying: "I wish to apologise unreservedly again for the action that led to my suspension and express my deep remorse for the hurt which I have caused.

"The past two years have been a period of deep reflection in which I enrolled on a domestic violence awareness course which has helped me understand the impact my action had on others.

 "On the course, we discussed in great detail how to have and maintain healthy relationships and I believe that not only should these discussions form part of our education system, but that there should be far greater investment in similar courses.

"I take full responsibility and fully accept the police caution I was issued.  

"My colleagues in the Westminster Group and the wider party have championed the rights of women and all victims of abusive behaviour. I regret that my actions took the focus away from this important work.

 "Representing my home communities is an honour I cherish and a responsibility which I never take lightly. As I re-join the Plaid Cymru Westminster group, I will continue to represent my constituents to the best of my ability."

In her statement, Beca Brown said: "Plaid Cymru must, at all times, be a safe space for everyone."We will review the party’s processes to identify the lessons learnt in this case.  Furthermore, we will also commission an independent review to identify the steps required for the party to be truly free from a culture of misogyny, and to actively and meaningfully promote, defend and extend women’s participation in Plaid Cymru and wider politics."