Questions are being asked of an MP and the party he represents over his return to Parliament under the party of Plaid Cymru.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards, accepted a caution in May 2020 for assaulting his wife at their home in Ammanford.
Mrs Edwards accepted an apology at the time and Mr Edwards enrolled on a domestic violence awareness course.
Politicians including the former leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood have come out in support of Emma Edwards after she told the BBC that she regretted a statement she made shortly after the assault, which she says was produced by the MP’s press officer at the time.
In a statement Mrs Edwards said: “I have since learned that he is presenting himself as the victim in all of this and this is why I am now seeking to set the record straight. I am appalled and disappointed that the party I was until recently a member of has accepted a domestic abuser to represent them as an MP.”This sends the message that women don’t matter and that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter. I always believed Plaid Cymru to be better than this. Until now, I have maintained silence. I am not a political person and I do not seek publicity… I cannot stand by and watch the truth being distorted as it has been.”
Leanne Wood posted on Twitter “This sends the message that women don’t matter and that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter. I always believed Plaid Cymru to be better than this.
“Solidarity to you Emma.
“Disappointed, yes. Disillusioned, never. The fight against the scourge of misogyny in Welsh politics continues.”
MS Sian Gwenllian tweeted: ‘I was among those Plaid Cymru members who were of the view that Jonathan Edwards should not be allowed to re-join the Plaid Cymru Group in Westminster.’
@wheelie_minion tweeted: an absolute disgrace to allow wife beater Jonathan Edwards back. Have some respect for victims of abuse everywhere. What kind of message are you putting out there? That it’s fine to assault your wife as long as you apologise?! Like it’s spilt milk? Despicable.
@WelshIndy tweeted: Emma is a very brave woman – she deserves our support for speaking out. Jonathan Edwards should not be a
@PhilipCopley tweeted: Shame on Plaid Cymru for allowing Jonathan Edwards back.
@plaidifanc tweeted: The Plaid Ifanc NEC supports the view of @siangwenfelin on this matter. We believed Jonathan Edwards should not re-join the Westminster Group due to the damaging message this sends about our values. Plaid Ifanc always has & always will stand with survivors of domestic violence.
Domestic abuse is often a hidden crime that is not reported to the police. Therefore, data held by the police can only provide a partial picture of the actual level of domestic abuse experienced. Many cases will not enter the criminal justice process as they are not reported to the police.
The police recorded a total of 1,459,663 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2021.
Of these, 845,734 were recorded as domestic abuse-related crimes, an increase of 6% from the previous year, representing 18% of all offences recorded by the police in the year ending March 2021.
Estimates from our most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales year ending March 2020 show 5.5% of adults aged 16 to 74 years (2.3 million) experienced domestic abuse in the 12 months prior.
The Carmarthenshire branch of Plaid Cymru have welcomed the MP’s return to the party.