'Anti-English' gun-toting Plaid Cymru councillor 'surrenders' weapon to police

Jon Scriven posted a picture of himself with a rifle, adding he was 'making sure there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel' Credit: Facebook

A councillor who posted an "anti-English" message on social media along with a picture of himself carrying a rifle has been dealt with by police.

Plaid Cymru councillor Jon Scriven, who has since been suspended from the party, recently shared a picture of himself online posing at a beach holding a gun in one hand.

The Facebook post featured a message which read "Ogmore-by-Sea tonight for a quick swim and make sure there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel”.The now-deleted picture appeared on Councillor Scriven’s Facebook page on August 8.

The image resurfaced on social media before being deleted Credit: Facebook

South Wales Police said that Scriven, who represents the Penyrheol ward in Caerphilly, is being dealt with through a "restorative justice" approach.The weapon believed to have featured in the picture has also been handed over to the force. 

Following a backlash, Plaid Cymru confirmed that Scriven has been suspended from the party pending investigation, and called the post "inappropriate".

A spokesperson from South Wales Police said: "A 47-year-old man from the Caerphilly area has attended Cardiff Bay Police Station after complaints of malicious communications were made to police about a social media post."The individual concerned has been dealt with through the Restorative Justice process and has agreed to apologise for his actions. Restorative Justice is an out-of-court disposal which allows police to deal with relevant offences quickly and proportionately when an individual accepts full responsibility and it is consistent with national policies and guidance."We have also investigated alleged firearms offences and worked with colleagues in Gwent Police to ensure the weapon in question was surrendered."

Jon Scriven represents the Penyrheol ward in Caerphilly

Mr Scriven apologised for the post, writing on his Facebook page: "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 is yet to confirm whether Mr Scriven will be reinstated.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said the tweet left him "speechless" and displayed a xenophobic attitude.

Labour MS Hefin David, who shared the initial post, also added: "At a time when our society is facing huge challenges, it's incredibly concerning to see this from a Caerphilly Plaid councillor.

"We should be seeking to unite people and address real concerns like the cost of living, not posting disturbing images that are calculated to divide us."