Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Neil McEvoy's Party to fight Regional Senedd Seats at least

Ex-Plaid Cymru politician Neil McEvoy has said his new party will stand candidates in every region of Wales in next year's Senedd election.

The  BBC report that 

He said the party will challenge the "cartel in Welsh politics" and offer "change" to those disillusioned with devolution.

Mr McEvoy, currently Senedd Member for South Wales Central, wants to call the party the Welsh National Party.

However his application to register the name is being reconsidered.

The Electoral Commission, the body that oversees elections, announced in May that it had scrapped its original decision to recognise the name after Plaid Cymru threatened legal action.

Mr McEvoy described this as "political sabotage" but a Plaid spokesman said at the time "Plaid Cymru will always protect its historic name and we are confident that this matter will be resolved in a manner that allows us to continue doing so".

The uncertainty over branding is leaving the new party "a bit hamstrung" according to its leader, but Mr McEvoy said "if we don't get the name we were initially registered as, clearly there'll be legal action taken".

Mr McEvoy may well copy the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP)  last May which may profit from support from the "Wings Over Scotland " it would certainly avoid costly law suits. Or follow the right wing populists leaders in Europe and have people stand as "Neil McEvoys's List" candidates.

As well as fielding candidates on the regional list, Neil and clMcEvoy said the party will also stand in some constituencies, "because we know where we can win".

"In Cardiff West we're doing well, and we're the challengers to the first minister [Mark Drakeford]," he said.

"We're very much the outsiders. People will see a huge difference between the way we do business and the way that all the other parties compromise and want to be part of the club."

Mr McEvoy would not be drawn on the number of seats he hopes to win, and policies are still being developed ahead of next year's election

"We want people to own their own homes and be sovereign in their own lives," he said.

"Like Switzerland, we want a system of referenda so people can actually have their say.

"So the offer we're putting before the public next year will be a lot different to what's on offer currently."

Meanwhile  Mr McEvoy  suspension of Cardiff councillor has been upheld by the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

The suspension for four months, which was originally handed down by the council standards committee, came after two incidents around a care home in 2018.

Both related to Mr McEvoy’s involvement in a care dispute involving the council and a father whose child was in council care.

The former Plaid councillor, who is also a Member of the Senedd, appealed his case to his Adjudication Panel for Wales but they have ruled that it was correct in its decision.

A letter sent to all Cardiff Council workers, seen by WalesOnline, said: "Cllr McEvoy's suspension takes effect on June 23, 2020 and continues till midnight on October 22.

"Please note that during the period of his suspension Mr McEvoy may not exercise any of the rights, powers and duties of a Member of Cardiff Council."

This of course may play into Mr McEvoy's hands and he  will try to portray himself as victim of a bureaucratic conspiracy to undermine him and not as the self seeking populists many others see him.

Meanwhile in his annual report (pdf), the Acting Standards Commissioner, Douglas Bain TD, has suggested some MSs were using the official complaints system as a weapon to attack other MSs and parties.

A record 106 new complaints were received during 2019-20 – a 147% increase on the previous year – of which 84 were rejected as inadmissible.

58 complaints related to conduct on social media. However, the Acting Commissioner rejected issuing new guidance to members so as to prevent lower standards of behaviour being accepted on social media when compared to other forms of media.

Just over three-quarters of complaints were made by members of the public, with the remainder coming from within the Senedd itself – 13.2% from Members and 10.4% from the Clerk of the Senedd. One unnamed MS (by virtue of the quoted figures of complaints by party, likely to be an Independent) has reportedly made seven complaints about other members – only one of which was upheld – and the Acting Commissioner had reason to believe that some complaints from the public were instigated by a Member.

“One regrettable practice that became apparent during the year was the willingness of a small number of Members to use the complaints process as a political weapon. As noted above, one Member was responsible for more than half of all complaints made by Members. It was also clear that on other occasions a small number of Members had used a member of the public to make a complaint on their behalf.”

– Acting Standards Commissioner, Douglas Bain.

You may wonder  if Mr McEvoy is one of these mentioned I couldn't possibly comment.


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