MP cautioned for assault on wife confirms he won't stand again for election in scathing letter about Plaid Cymru

-Credit: (Image: Courtesy of Jonathan Edwards's office)
-Credit: (Image: Courtesy of Jonathan Edwards's office)


A former Plaid Cymru MP has said he will not stand for re-election in the coming general election with a scathing letter to his former party. Jonathan Edwards was first elected as Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr since 2010.

He has served as an independent MP since being suspended by the party after being arrested at his Carmarthenshire home in May 2020 after assaulting his then-wife. He received a police caution for common assault and said in a statement in June 2020, that he was deeply sorry and that it was the biggest regret of his life by far. "Nothing can excuse that I lost my temper in my home," he said. "It was completely out of character."

Mr Edwards received a 12-month ban from the party with his suspension was to end in July 2021. He was subsequently allowed to rejoin the party, but remained sitting as an independent MP. In a later statement from his now former wife, she said she did not feel her ex-husband had "accepted responsibility" for the incident.

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He was expected to stand in the newly-configured seat of Caerfyrddin, and could have caused an electoral headache for his former party. However, he says he has decided to stand down from Westminster.

His statement, released on his Facebook page, reads: “I have dedicated my adult life to public service, and politics is the very essence of my soul. Serving my home communities has been the most incredible honour and privilege. I hope the people of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr will feel that I have done the job to the best of my ability, with integrity and for the right reasons.

“My priority was always Carmarthenshire and my energies were always directed towards serving the needs of our communities and not grandstanding in Westminster. I would like to thank my staff who have been loyal to me over the years for their hard work," he said.

He also laid into his former party. "I don’t think I will ever accept the manner in which Plaid Cymru exploited an incident in my personal life to try and destroy me. I acted in good faith and trusted the party’s processes, only for them to be corrupted by those who misused their power in order to settle old scores. That is a matter for them and their conscience. They will undoubtedly rejoice at this statement, but any victory they may feel is a pyrrhic one.

“It has taken me a long time to recover, and to be perfectly frank I am amazed I am still alive and breathing after the depths I fell to. I am, however, now at peace. At the end of last week, I attended the funeral of the wife of a friend who tragically died young from cancer. I reflected on what’s important in life and that means moving forward, not looking back.

“This week marks the second anniversary of my own father’s death – a man who gave his whole life to Plaid Cymru. It still haunts me that when he was gasping for his final breaths on his deathbed he witnessed his party turning against his son. That sort of torment is beyond comprehension. My father was a Christian and he would not condone a major decision to stand at this election on the basis of revenge and would instead encourage forgiveness."

He thanked his children and partner, Fflur, for their support.

“Politics is a tough and all-encompassing occupation and I genuinely wish my successor well. For myself, I can’t wait to be home where I belong," his statement ended.

In response to his statement, a Plaid Cymru spokesperson did not respond to Mr Edwards' comments but backed their candidate for the Caerfyrddin seat, Ann Davies. The statement reads said: "Plaid Cymru's Ann Davies is receiving overwhelming support in this election as the local voice for the people of Carmarthen, with growing support across the constituency. This area has a proud history of electing dedicated and independent-minded representatives who always put their constituency first

"The people of Carmarthen’s best hope of kicking out the Tories and stopping Labour taking Wales for granted is to vote for Plaid Cymru on July 4th."