How Plaid Cymru Works - 10

This is the tenth tranche of emails from the correspondence between various people in Plaid Cymru and myself, following a complaint about what I had written on the subject of the Ynys Môn by-election last year. For easy reference, I've put together the all the previous corresponence on this page, which I will keep updating as further emails are published.

From: Dafydd Trystan
Sent: Thursday, 24 October 2013, 4:44am
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear Michael

Thank you for your note, and for enclosing the significant amount of correspondence between yourself and Chris Franks as Chair of the Panel.

My concern here as Chair relates to matters of process, and as such you raise two two significant and (in process terms) distinct issues:

i) The timing of your hearing. The correspondence attached notes a date for your disciplinary hearing. You make the point in your Email to Chris that you have received a considerable amount of information recently. It strikes me as entirely reasonable if you were to request, during the next day or so, a short delay so that you may evaluate the information and prepare properly for the hearing.

iii) The timetable for dealing with the complaint against Rhun ap Iorwerth and others. I am not going to begin micro-managing the workload of the Panel charged with dealing with such matters on behalf of the party. It would for example, be reasonable for such a panel to deal sequentially with complaints received, dealing with a certain number - say two or three - at each convened meeting. I would however expect the panel to a) deal with all complaints within a reasonable time frame; and b) to where appropriate keep complainants informed of the progress of their complaint. Accordingly, I shall be writing to the Chair of the Panel requesting information regarding the timetable for dealing with your complaint. That information will clearly be shared with you once available.

Your correspondence raises one more issue, which I feel I should consider - and that is the confidentiality of the process. There seems to be some discussion in your correspondence regarding the confidentiality of this process. It is therefore appropriate for me a Chair of the Party to rule on this matter, and I rule that the disciplinary process is strictly confidential - and I shall inform all parties to the process of this ruling.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me, and for replying promptly to my correspondence from yesterday.

Should you have any further concerns or questions about the process please do not hesitate to contact me. (I should probably note that ---------------------------------------------------------------------, so I may not be able to reply to Emails over the weekend as promptly as I normally would!)

Sincerely

Dafydd Trystan Davies

Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies
Cadeirydd / Chair Plaid Cymru

From: ----------------- [member of staff at Ty Gwynfor]
Sent: Friday, 25 October 2013, 3:15pm
To: Undisclosed recipients
Subject: Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Hearing Panel - October 28th

Dear all

I write regarding a meeting of the Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Hearing Panel which was due to be held on Monday, October 28th. This meeting has unfortunately been postponed. You will be notified shortly about the new time/date of the meeting.

Kind regards

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Monday, 28 October 2013, 1:15pm
To: Dafydd Trystan
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Shaughan Feakes, Leanne Wood, Chris Franks, Elin Jones
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear Dafydd

Thank you for your email of 24 October. I will deal with this first as the points are quite simple.

With regard to point i, please re-read the final paragraph of my email of 21 October. I note from -------'s email that the hearing has now been postponed.

With regard to point iii (you don't appear to have a point ii), you will need to be more active and thorough than you anticipate. The point you seem to be trying to avoid is that although Chris is chair of the panel that has been, as you say, "charged with dealing with such matters on behalf of the party", it is perfectly clear that Chris has handled his responsibilities badly. You have therefore been asked to intervene to ensure that all procedures have been properly followed and that everyone is treated properly and fairly. This means that everything that has not been done properly will need to be re-addressed. You have now been given all the details, so please get on and deal with it.

As to confidentiality, no ruling from you is required. Clause 9.1 of standing orders says that public statements can only be made by the Chair, but that this restriction only applies for a certain period. Chris tried to make out that it said something different, and I pointed out that he was wrong. You would be well advised not to make the same mistake. Very clearly this matter cannot be confidential, because I must be allowed to inform others about what is happening. How else, for example, could I take advice or have the option of choosing others to represent me? As you can see from the correspondence, I am keeping others informed about what is happening and I will continue to do this.

-

I will now turn to the other matters. The package of information I have been given contains numerous documents. Most of these are relatively uncontentious, so I will focus on the document which is of most serious concern, namely the Investigating Officer's report.

As I said before, it is bizarre that a so-called investigation has taken place in which I was not asked a single question. Page 1 of the report contains the extraordinary statement that, "Michael Haggett has not responded to my several requests to speak with him." I have not received any such request.

Chris told me on 9 September that Shaughan would contact me, and said the same again on 16 September. In my reply of 16 September I specifically noted that he had not yet done so, but that I would be happy to answer any questions he cared to send me. In my email of 24 September I repeated that Shaughan had not been in contact with me.

The question that must now be asked is why what I said, more than once, was deliberately ignored. The result is an investigation that was fundamentally flawed because no-one asked me any questions, despite the clear obligation set out in clause 4.2 for it to make enquiries of all parties. Clause 4.3 requires that a timetable for the investigation be determined at the outset, and for all parties to be informed of what it is. I repeatedly asked Chris to provide this information, but he refused to do so. If he had, the problem would have been flagged up and could have been dealt with weeks ago.

I must therefore insist that a new investigation is held. It would take far too long to list all the other inadequacies of the investigation as reflected its report, but this is the most important of them: The central question is whether what Rhun said on Sunday Supplement and Pawb a'i Farn about Plaid's nuclear policy—specifically that it makes a distinction between new nuclear power stations on new sites and new nuclear power stations on existing nuclear sites—is or is not true. If Rhun lied, there can be no possible objection to me calling him a liar. It is a simple matter of fact that can easily be ascertained by competent investigation. Everything hinges on this, yet the report skirts round the issue. The new investigation must properly address this question.

Because of what has happened, it is now foolish to believe that a fair and balanced investigation can be carried out by anyone within Plaid Cymru. Clause 4.2 of Standing Orders makes provision for an external investigator to be appointed in exceptional circumstances like these, and I would insist this is now done. I believe it would be best if the investigation concerning me, and the investigations concerning Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd were all conducted by one person from outside the party.

-

The flawed investigation is only one of many problems with the way the process has been handled. At every stage, Chris has been defensive and evasive, and it is now becoming clear why he was doing so. It is quite appalling that the Hearing Panel was presented with a completely one-sided document that takes no account whatsoever of anything I had to say, but it was made even worse by giving the impression that I was refusing to say anything. As if that wasn't bad enough, it is clear from Chris's email of 23 October that the other members of the Hearing Panel had not even been given copies of my correspondence with Chris, and were therefore denied the opportunity to consider what I had to say in those emails.

Through these actions, Chris engineered a situation in which the other members of the Hearing Panel were asked to make a decision about whether there was a case for me to answer without being presented with the evidence that would enable them to make a proper decision. This is a double-dose of blatant wrongdoing on his part, and is much more serious than Chris being incompetent and evasive. As a result, what little confidence I might have had in Chris before has completely disappeared, and I must again insist he is replaced by someone who will do a better job.

Best regards

Michael

From: Dafydd Trystan
Sent: Tuesday, 29 October 2013, 5:42am
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Leanne Wood, Chris Franks
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear Michael

Thank you for your Email dated 28th of October.

On the two issues of process identified from your original correspondence:

i) I am reassured that the postponement of the hearing, will allow you ample opportunity to prepare and present your case to the panel.

ii) I am informed that the timetable for dealing with the complaint against Rhun ap Iorwerth and others is being drawn up, and am assured that once set, that timetable will be communicated to you.

Your Email also presents a number of comments regarding the matters at hand. These are matters for the hearing rather than matters of process - the one material matter of process i.e. the timetable(s) now having been dealt with (i), being dealt with (ii). You would not expect me to, neither it would be appropriate for me to make any comment on those matters that will be considered at the hearing.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me,

Sincerely

Dafydd Trystan

Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies
Cadeirydd / Chair Plaid Cymru

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Monday, 29 October 2013, 3:09pm
To: Dafydd Trystan
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Shaughan Feakes, Leanne Wood, Chris Franks, Elin Jones
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear Dafydd

I would remind you that Leanne asked you to intervene to ensure that all procedures have been properly followed and that everyone is treated properly and fairly. This means that everything that has not been done properly will need to be re-addressed, not ignored or swept under the carpet.

Anyone reading what you have just written will, quite frankly, laugh at you. I have identified more "issues of process" than the two which you want to confine yourself to. Please get on and deal with the others.

Best regards

Michael

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5 comments:

Welsh not British said...

Perhaps you should have emailed Leanne again and asked her to appoint someone to ensure Dafydd does his job properly as well.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

i) Dafydd Trystan should be fired immediately - an incompetent fool (if the e.mails are to be believed)

iii) Chris Franks should have been fired weeks ago - a devious incompetent fool (if the e.mails are to be believed)

On 'matters of process', we need to learn fast and ensure we never allow the appointment such fools again.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Leanne Wood doesn't come out of this at all well.

Shame. I had high hopes for her.

Anonymous said...

Well quite - everybody should be sacked, everybody's an idiot but for Mike MI5 Hagget & poor thick British not Welsh.

Anonymous said...

Enjoying this series of articles and Emails Michael, I agree with the other comment writers, I think that they should all be sacked as well.

As regards the appointment of an external investigator as per clause 4,2 of standing orders I would like to offer my services in order to help successfully resolve this matter for you.

Please ask Chris Franks to let me know if he feels that I may be of any assistance


Keep up the good work




Kevin Mahoney
UKIP Cllr
Vale of Glamorgan County Council

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