How Plaid Cymru Works - 1

Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be shouted from the rooftops.

Jesus of Nazareth – Luke 12:1-3

In September last year I received an email from Chris Franks telling me that a complaint had been made about articles I had written on the subject of the Ynys Môn by-election.

A lot has happened since then which I have not been able to make public before, but am able to make public now. Rather than present it all in one go, I am going to break it down into a series of individual posts, in order to give a sense of how things unfolded over time.

Everything was done by email, so I am publishing the email correspondence in its entirety. I have redacted only personal details such as addresses and phone numbers for obvious, and I hope understandable, reasons.

From: Chris Franks
Sent: Monday, 9 September 2013, 12:35pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Complaint

Dear Mr Haggett

The Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel of Plaid Cymru has held an initial meeting to consider a complaint received from a member regarding your Blog postings concerning the Mon By election. The initial procedure is for the Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel to determine if there are sufficient grounds to pursue the complaint.

I would confirm that the Panel has decided to appoint a Hearing Panel to investigate this complaint. Shaughan Feakes of Ty Gwynfor has been appointed the investigation officer. Shaughan will contact you directly as appropriate.

You will understand that this matter will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and only the chair of the party is authorised to make any public comment, if at all. My mobile is ----------- if you require clarification regarding the process.


Chris Franks

Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel of Plaid Cymru

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 3:50am
To: Chris Franks
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards [Chief Executive], Shaughan Feakes, Leanne Wood
Subject: Complaint

Dear Chris

Thank you for your email.

You have said that a complaint has been made by a member of the party. I need hardly remind you that under the terms of the constitution no disciplinary action can be initiated against a member unless the complaint has been signed by no fewer than five members of the party. A complaint by one member alone cannot be entertained ... unless that member happens to be the President, Leader of the Party Group in the National Assembly or Party Chair. For the complaint to be valid it would also need to be served on both the Chief Executive and myself. I can confirm that I have not received anything.

Unless or until a valid complaint has been made there are no grounds for investigating anything or appointing a Hearing Panel. So I would advise you and the Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel not to be premature and I, for my part, will not consider what you have said to have any relevance to me or my standing in the party unless or until that changes.


However, having made that clear, I would very much welcome answering any criticisms of what I wrote on Syniadau from anyone who wants to take issue with it. Anybody has been able to do that at any time. However I would warn those in positions of responsibility in the party to tread very carefully, for in this matter I have upheld our party, our democratic values and our policies against those in the party who have tried to undermine them. Don't be so foolish as to attempt to take disciplinary action against me when such action would be better directed at prominent members of the party who openly oppose party policy, tell lies about it, and bring our party into disrepute as a result. Better still would be for those in positions of responsibility in the party to follow my lead and try to repair the damage that has been inflicted on us as a party by not being afraid to publicly reaffirm what our policies are.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

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Anonymous said...

I have been uneasy about Plaid's statements on Wylfa for some time. Please continue to inform us.

Anonymous said...

Mr Franks would have been better advised to direct his comments to Rhun ap Iowerth.

It was he, after all, that paid scant regard to party policy whilst vigorously campaigning up here in Ynys Mon last year.

Anonymous said...

Who made the complaint?

Gwyn Hughes said...

MH, you need to explain things to people who aren't 'in the know' as it were. Who or what is Ty Gwynfor? Are they are firm of solicitors or an investigation agency? It ceratainly doesn't look unreasonable to appoint someone from outside the party to independently investigate the complaint. It's nice to see some professionalism and objectivity from a political party for a change.

Anonymous said...

Michael - while I admire your determination to have a transparent and open party, you are only feeding the Labour trolls who delight in undermining the only party with a commitment to Wales. You can try and play it as nuanced as you like, but this only feeds the Shippo.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:03, your attitude disgusts me!

Transparency and openness is essential in all matters 'public' no matter how distasteful nor how much others might delight in the many unfortunate revelations and mishaps.

In this day and age for anyone to think otherwise is completely preposterous!

MH said...

Thanks for the comments. Most of the questions will be answered in due course as I publish the rest of the correspondence. So I'll hold off answering now, and you can be kept in the same suspense as I was.

I should, however, answer Gwyn's question now. Ty Gwynfor is Plaid Cymru's head office in Cardiff, and Shaughan is a senior member of staff.

MH said...

In the comment above, I described Shaughan as a "senior member of staff" at Plaid Cymru's head office in Cardiff. I have been taken to task for using that description, because it might be taken to imply that he was one of those included in my phrase "people in positions of power". I did not mean to give that impression. By senior, I only meant that he was rather older than most of the other people who work in Ty Gwynfor.

I don't want to embarrass him in any way by giving a few personal details, but he is semi-retired and works for Plaid on a part-time basis. He is one of many people who give their time and effort to the party out of commitment and dedication, and without these people the party simply couldn't function. I've spoken to him on the phone a few times in the past about other things, and he has always been helpful and courteous to me.

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