Calls for Plaid Cymru councillor to be suspended after 'xenophobic' post posing with gun at beach

Jon Scriven, Plaid Cymru councillor for Penyrheol, Caerphilly, holding a gun
Cllr John Scriven captioned the picture stating he was "making sure there wasn't any English people trying to cross the channel". Credit: Welsh Liberal Democrats

There are calls for a Plaid Cymru councillor to be suspended after he was photographed holding a gun at Ogmore-by-Sea.

Jon Scriven, councillor for Penyrheol in Caerphilly, posted the now-deleted picture on social media with the caption, "Ogmore-by-Sea tonight for a quick swim and make sure there wasn't any English people trying to cross the channel".

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he was "speechless" after seeing the "xenophobic" post.

He added that Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price "cannot let another scandal rage on without decisive action".

Mr Davies said there were already issues with violence and antisocial behaviour where the picture was taken and questioned "why on earth" the Plaid Cymru councillor had travelled more than twenty miles to take the picture, saying it showed "appalling judgement".

The Welsh Liberal Democrats also said the post was xenophobic towards English people and said there was "a clear implication of violence".

A spokesman for the party called on Plaid Cymru to "do the right thing" and suspend Mr Scriven.

They added: "Whether or not it was intended as a joke or not, it is entirely inappropriate for an elected official to make such comments, when they should know better".

Meanwhile, Hefin David, the Labour MS for Caerphilly, questioned how appropriate the post was.

He added: "Our society is facing huge challenges. We should be seeking to unite and address real concerns such as the cost of living crisis. Wrapping yourself in a flag and hating outsiders won’t help a single person in need."

In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, Mr Scriven said: "I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my now deleted Facebook post.

"It was ill-judged and I have apologised to the group leader Lindsay Whittle who has accepted my apology."

Plaid Cymru has also been approached for a comment.