Plaid Cymru councillor suspended for 'xenophobic' post holding gun on beach

Jon Scriven, Plaid Cymru councillor for Penyrheol, Caerphilly, holding a gun
Jon Scriven posted the image last month, which has now caught the attention of politicians Credit: Welsh Liberal Democrats

A Plaid Cymru councillor has been suspended after posting a photograph of himself 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".

In a statement, Plaid Cymru said: “Councillor Scriven’s now deleted post was inappropriate and goes against Plaid Cymru’s views and values. He was right to apologise for any offence caused.

"All Plaid Cymru elected representatives have a duty to uphold the highest standards.

"Councillor Scriven has been suspended pending an investigation.”

The picture was posted last month but has just caught the attention of politicians.

In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, before his suspension, 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."

Police investigating

South Wales Police said it is aware of a post on social media featuring a man brandishing what looks like a rifle at Ogmore-by-Sea.

Superintendent Michelle Conquer said: “An allegation of malicious communications has been reported to us and we are investigating the matter.”

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".

Meanwhile, Hefin David, the Labour MS for Caerphilly, questioned how appropriate the post was and added that "we should be seeking to unite" and not "hating outsiders".

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

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".