Bethan Jenkins AM driving ban

AM banned for 20 months after being found twice over the legal drink drive limit

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Plaid Assembly Member to face standards investigation

The case of Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins is to be looked at by the Assembly's Standards watchdog. The South Wales West AM was reinstated to her party's group in the Senedd this morning. She'd been suspended after being charged with drink-driving, a charge to which she later pleaded guilty.

An Assembly spokesman has confirmed her case will now be considered by the Standards Commissioner.

The matter is now in the hands of the Standards Commissioner and he will deal with it as appropriate.

– Assembly spokesman

The Commissioner will consider if there is a case to be answered and will report his findings to the Standards Committee which will in turn decide whether or not to investigate.

Bethan Jenkins reinstated to Plaid Assembly group

Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins has been reinstated to the party's group of Assembly members. The South Wales West AM had been suspended after she was charged with drink-driving in October and was banned for driving for 20 months after pleading guilty.

Following a meeting of Plaid's Assembly group this morning, its chair Alun Ffred Jones said:

Bethan has apologised publicly and this morning has apologised in full to Plaid Cymru AMs. Her suspension from the Assembly group has been lifted and she is a full member again. The group’s disciplinary process has now ended.


Plaid AMs to discuss reinstating Bethan Jenkins

Plaid Cymru Assembly Members will consider this morning whether or not to allow Bethan Jenkins to return to the group. The AM for Mid and West Wales was suspended after being charged with drink-driving and she was banned from driving for 20 months after pleading guilty at Cardiff magistrates court.

Plaid's leader Leanne Wood confirmed that the group will discuss what action it should take next when it meets this morning. A statement will be issued immediately afterwards.

Bethan Jenkins AM: 'I fell well below the standards I expect of myself'

This incident is one I regret wholeheartedly and I am deeply sorry.

On this occasion, I fell well below the standards I expect of myself and therefore fully accept the judge's decision in this matter.

I would like to thanks the police for the manner in which they have dealt with this process.

This has been a deeply difficult period, in which i've begun to come to terms with depression for the first time.

Friends and others, including many from South Wales West, the region I represent with tremendous pride, have shown wonderful support, for which I am truly thankful.

– Bethan Jenkins AM


Drink drive AM remains suspended by her party

Plaid Cymru has confirmed that South Wales West AM Bethan Jenkins remains suspended from the party's Assembly group following her guilty plea to a drink driving charge this morning.

Bethan Jenkins has pleaded guilty to the serious and irresponsible crime of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. She is currently on sickness leave and her suspension from the group will continue until her return to work when the group will consider the matter further. In the meantime we will be making no further comment.

– Alun Ffred Jones AM, chair of the Plaid Cymru Assembly group

Bethan Jenkins was suspended from the Plaid group shortly after her arrest. She has since been absent from the Senedd while she is treated for depression. Her sickness leave is currently until the end of January, although she could return earlier.

When she returns, Plaid AMs will have to decide whether to reinstate her, extend her suspension for a further period or expel her completely. However, even without being in the Plaid Cymru group, she would be entitled to remain an Assembly Member, sitting as an independent.

Bethan Jenkins AM: 'deeply sorry'

The District Judge Bodfan Jenkins acknowledged the defendant's genuine remorse as well as her early guilty plea.

The reality is that the reading was a very high one - something which cannot be ignored.

While there is no other suggestions of bad driving, you embarked on a lengthy journey.

The risks involved are phenomenal.

The guidelines mean you fall into the second (sentencing) band.

– Bodfan Jenkins, District Judge

Jenkins was fined £750, as well as ordered to pay a £75 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.

If she successfully completes a driver rehabilitation course, her 20-month disqualification will be reduced by five months.

Following the outcome of today's hearing, Jenkins said she was deeply sorry.

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