MP Jonathan Edwards will not rejoin Plaid Cymru in Westminster after assaulting wife
An MP who was suspended from Plaid Cymru for assaulting his wife will not rejoin the party's group in Westminster.
Plaid Cymru had announced earlier this week that Mr Edwards would rejoin the party’s ranks in the House of Commons having been suspended for two years following a police caution.
However, the announcement saw the party’s chair Alun Ffred Jones quit and several senior party members voice their displeasure.
Then, on Friday, Mr Edwards’ wife, Emma Edwards, said she was "appalled" by the decision and said it appeared "that survivors of domestic abuse don't matter".
Following Mrs Edwards’ comments, the party said it would “consider the implications” of the MP’s wife’s response.
Now, it appears Mr Edwards will not be rejoining.
In a statement released on Saturday (13 August), Mr Edwards said: “It is with deep regret that I announce that I will not be re-joining the Plaid Cymru Westminster group to allow a period of calm reflection.
“I wish to state at the outset that I have never made any public comments in relation to the event that led to my arrest or my marriage.
“My priority has always been my children and not my career. Suffice to say that my wife and I are nearing the end of a divorce process, and I will not be responding to any comments she chooses to make while I am a Member of Parliament and our children are young.
“I will say only this, that relationships can often be very complex. I take full responsibility for the action that led to my arrest and subsequent police caution. I will regret that day to the end of my life.
“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. The story of a relationship however does not begin and end with one isolated incident.
“Throughout this period I have complied fully with the party and their requirements. I have never made any public statements about my personal life or my concerns about how the party was dealing with my case.”
Mr Edwards went on to say he has felt suicidal over the last couple of years and received no safeguarding from the party.
“I know that some will disagree, but I feel that we are in a very dangerous environment when there is no space for anyone in the public sphere to speak honestly about mistakes they make, to be allowed to show genuine remorse and to try and build a better life,” he continued.
“I am concerned that there has been no distinction in any of the discussions about the difference between an incident and a pattern of behaviour.
“Over the part two years there have been periods when I have felt suicidal as my personal and professional life crumbled and I was offered no safeguarding by the party.
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at email@example.com, or click here to find your nearest branch.
“I am also concerned that in recent weeks senior politicians within the party have misused their positions of power by subjecting me to vindictive and vengeful coordinated political attacks.
“My politics has always been driven by the desire to build a fairer country for our communities and I hope that those in the party will continue with this work and restore a healthier politics.”
Mr Edwards finished his statement by confirming he will continue to serve as an MP for Carmarthenshire, as an independent, for the rest of this Parliamentary term.
Plaid Cymru have been contacted for comment.
Help and support for domestic abuse
Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 for confidential, non-judgemental information and support.
Women's Aid - for information and support, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the instant messaging service.
Contact a local domestic abuse service by using the Domestic Abuse Directory.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999.