THE Leader of Propel, Neil McEvoy MS, has said he is refusing to pay the COVID fine issued to him for allegedly breaking Coronavirus legislation.
Mr McEvoy has said that he broke no laws and will be going to court to fight the fine. He also accused South Wales Police of political interference ahead of the Welsh Parliament ballot on May 6th.
South Wales Police visited Mr McEvoy’s Welsh Parliament office to read him his rights and issue the fine, claiming he broke the law by allegedly delivering political leaflets in the Cardiff West constituency.
The police had previously visited his home to try to caution him for the same alleged offence.
Welsh Government guidance stated that delivering leaflets was not permitted by volunteers, although other leaflets were still allowed to be delivered, including by the police themselves. The Welsh Government has since changed the guidance to allow political leaflets to be delivered by volunteers.
But Mr McEvoy argued that Welsh Government guidance is not law and so he could not have broken the law.
Mr McEvoy said:
“This is nothing more than police interference in the political process ahead of an election.
“This is the third time South Wales Police has visited me in the last few weeks when I am just doing my job.
“I will not be paying the fine as I have not broken any laws. The police need to understand that they are there to uphold the law, not harass politicians based on Welsh Government guidance. The fact is that nowhere in the Coronavirus regulations does it say that politicians delivering election leaflets is illegal.
“I’m just doing my job. I need to be able to contact the public and let them know how they can contact me.
“I’m really concerned about what’s happening to our democracy now. We were meant to be fighting a virus but it seems like our civil liberties are being constantly eroded. The police need to get back to fighting crime, not wasting time chasing fines from people who are acting lawfully.
“I will not be paying this unjust fine and will take this to court. The Chief Constable of South Wales Police really needs to consider his position if these are his policing priorities.”
Mr McEvoy filmed the following video of a police visit to his home during which, he was cautioned for an alleged offence.
Police also visited Neil McEvoy’s office. You can listen to the audio here: