Friday, 1 June 2012

Berhan Jenkins AM misses Conference meetings in Dublin.

The Western Mule reports that Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins failed to attend two sessions of an international conference in Ireland at which she was meant to be representing Wales having travelled there at taxpayers’ expense.

It is claimed that Ms Jenkins,, attended social events linked to the trip – but failed to attend a short early morning committee meeting and a full plenary session of the 44th British-Irish Parliamentary Association Plenary Conference in Dublin.

In her defence Bethan Jenkins  said ..
“I was privileged to attend the 44th plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Dublin, where I not only took part in the full plenary session on the Monday, but also held a series of very useful meetings with opposite numbers in the other participating parliaments, including in my own time on the Sunday prior to the start of the event.
“I had given my apologies in advance for not attending the half-hour-long committee meeting on Monday morning at 8.30am.
"This is because I had not been part of the investigation that was being discussed.
"I was, however, in my seat ready for start of plenary shortly after the meeting, and participated fully in proceedings when they began at 9.30am.
“On Tuesday morning’s session, I was called to the phone on a constituency issue shortly before going in and had to spend the morning working on that.
"My office has over 150 pieces of casework on the go at any one time and while I was honoured to be asked to go to Dublin, the needs of my constituents always come first. It’s not surprising, therefore, that I had to take time out during a two-day engagement to deal with constituency issues.”
This is (if it is correct) then depending on the urgency of the issue then it is understandable. Though she should probably have attended the committee meeting.since she was member.

It appears that after Bethan Jenkins’s  non-attendance has been referred to her party group by the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler. and a "Party Spokeswoman" issued a statement....

 “The matter has been discussed internally and there is agreement that members attending Assembly visits should carry out the duties expected of them wherever possible.
I was in a quandary over repeating this story  since it involved  one of the few AMs I admire.and this may just be case of the Mule AM bashing. and  I ask myself. "would I have bothered if it was any other AM". for what could be viewed as a minor transgression hardly worth mentioning . Probably not but I'm not going to ignore because it a Plaid AM.

 It does show that our AM are under scrutiny and if they do attend these meetings at Tax Payers expense we expect them to represent us fully.

There may be further revelations or it could be that there nothing more to come out of it . Unless there was something amiss over Bethan Jenkins's excuse there nor reason for there to be.


Anonymous said...

Instead of giving the story legs, Plaid Cymru should be asking who is the Labour numpty who grassed to Martin Shipton.

Because we all know if this was a Labour AM or an older man, Mr Shipton of the Western Fail wouldn't be reporting it.

Anonymous said...

When Rhodri Morgan (Labour AM) failed to attend the memorial service for D day in Normandy, his excuse was he was 'playing golf at the Celtic manor". There are genuine reasons (Bethan) and then there are feeble excuses (Rhodri). The Western Mule is just Plaid bashing.

Welsh not British said...

"...the needs of my constituents always come first..."

That's all that needs to be said. How many of our "Welsh" MPs or AMs can say the same thing?

glynbeddau said...

I don't apologise for repeating this story because I'm not going to treat Plaid any )differently. However Anon has a point together with the today's Western Mule (02/06/2012 piece on D.E.T. It looks like they are simply responding to Labour spin doctors and not looking for news themselves. Lazy journalism or Plaid Bashing? probably both.