How Plaid Cymru Works - 14

This is the fourteenth 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 correspondence on this page, which I will keep updating as further emails are published.

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 10:22pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Hi Michael

Apologies that I have not gotten back to you sooner but have been --------- most of last week and am only now catching up with everything.

The conversation I had with Chris related to my wanting to get the information that is needed by yourself for the appeal and has no bearing on my opinion as to the facts in the case or the decision that i or any other member of the panel is likely to make when we hear the appeal.

I have been able to get the information that you requested in your email of 18th December and will forward that information in a separate email/s following this.

The information that I will provide to you is:

•  Copies of all minutes of the MDSP and panels as recieved from Chris. I have myself taken out all references in the minutes where they relate to other cases - and have inserted REMOVED so that you are aware that there were other matters discussed.

•  Copy of the information / Report provided by the investigating officer. Please be aware that there is password protection on the report password = "Document"

•  Copies of all the emails presented to the panel.

I am neither willing or able to "distinguish between what is a matter of record kept at the time and information that is only now being supplied from memory". I do not intend to make judgements on when these were written up nor believe that it is proper for me to do so at this time. You may of course in your preliminary evidence raise that question to the panel and if they so wish they may request clarification on this point from the chair of the original panel at the appeal hearing.

I am therefore now setting the following timetable that i believe is fair and is to be adhered to:

14th Jan 2014 - Supplying MH with information requested Dec 18th 2013

5pm 20th Jan 2014 - Deadline for submission of evidence ( to be submitted to myself)

9pm 20th Jan 2014 - AC to circulate all members of the appeal panel and the parties giving evidence with all of the evidence supplied.

6PM Wk commencing 27th Jan 2014 - Appeal hearing @ Ty Gwynfor. ( I am still awaiting response from other panel members as to their availability that week and would therefore welcome your resoponse on the most convenient times that week yourself. Once i have all responses I will set the date of the appeal hearing but please get back to me before 6pm Thursday 16th jan if you want to express a prefference as I am now keen to ensure that the timetabloe does not slip)

If you wish to submit further written evidence ( rebuttal / clarification) to the panel between the reciept of the evidence (20th Jan and the date of the panel hearing then I will endevour to pass that to the panel members and those giving evidence as and when that is recieved. I am however minded to suggest hat all subsequent written information should be recieved by myself no later than 24 hrs before the apeal panel so that members have at least one evening to digest that information.

As you indicate in your previous email the earlier that the panel are able to recieve that evidence the more considered will be their ability to comprehend that information. I therefore leave to your discretion if and when you submit any further written evidence.

I will once the date of the appeal panel hearing is set set out the agenda for the meeting and will indiccate likely timescales though any timings will be indicitive and not binding. I hope this now answers the questions that you have raised and allows you to prepare adequately for the appeal. Let me know if there is anything further that I can help you with.

Regards

Alun

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 10:49pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Information Requested

Hi Michael

please find attached

copies of the minutes of the panel - redacted by myself copy of the investigating officers report ( password protected , password sent in previous email)

I will separately send you copies of the correspondence that was presented to the panel.

Regards

Alun

Report Scans
Minutes of the Meetings of the Discipline Panel – 03/09/13 to 03/12/13

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 10:49pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Information Requested

Hello Michael

My last email of this evening!

Copy of the corespondence presented to the panel:

Best Regards

Alun

Note by MH. I have not provided a link to this document. As will be seen from my next email, this document did not include all the emails I wrote, was sent, or was copied in on; it jumbled up the order in which the emails were sent; and it included some of them twice. The full email correspondence has already been published in this series of posts, but with personal information redacted.

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014, 2:30pm
To: Alun Cox
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Dear Alun

Thank you for the package of information you have sent me. I appreciate the work (and hope you are feeling better) but must note that you have only provided some of the information I asked for in my original email to Rhunaedd on 18 December. To remind you, this is the list:

1.  The dates of all meetings of the MDSP/Hearing Panel from 24 June 2013 (the date of my first post about Rhun on Syniadau) to date.

2.  The minutes or any other record of those meetings. These may be redacted to exclude items which do not relate to the subject matters referred to in Elin's complaint against me or my complaints against Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and Rhun. If any meeting did not discuss these matters, a simple statement that it did not will suffice; however I require the dates of any such meetings because the fact that these matters were not discussed in them will be relevant in itself.

3.  Copies of the correspondence, or the file notes of any conversations, of those acting in an official capacity (as either members of the MDSP/Hearing Panel, Investigating Officer, or any other officer of Plaid Cymru) which relate to these subject matters.

4.  A copy of all the evidence, both written and oral, presented at the so-called hearing of 3 December, from all parties.

The first two points can be taken together. You describe "minutes of the meeting of the Discipline panel 030913_031213-2.doc" as copies of all minutes of the MDSP and panels as received from Chris. However I need you to confirm that these represent all the meetings that were held from 24 June 2013 to date.

Nobody is asking you to "make judgements" about when these records were written up. It is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of objective record. I would remind you that my request was originally directed at Rhuanedd because records should have been submitted to and held by Ty Gwynfor. She said in her email of 7 January that Ty Gwynfor has some, but not all, of the information I requested. I am asking her to provide me with the records that Ty Gwynfor held prior to my request, and it would be helpful if she identifies the dates on which they were received.

As for the remainder, it is a matter of great concern that this information had to be obtained by means of a "long conversation" with Chris. However I accept that it is better to get information this way than to get no information at all, therefore what you have produced may be the best there is. All I am asking is that any records produced at the time and held by Ty Gwynfor are clearly identified as such. This is important to me in order to complete my submission of evidence, as any failure to produce and submit contemporaneous records would demonstrate a slipshod approach to record keeping, which would support my contention that the procedure was conducted in a cavalier way. In turn, it might well become important to you and the other members of the Appeal Panel when considering the credibility and reliability of what you have been told.

-

As for point 3, the package of correspondence I have received comprises emails that I either wrote, was sent, or was copied in on. There is clearly much more that I have not yet been sent. Please would either you or Rhuanedd send me the outstanding information.

-

As for point 4, it might well be that that "Report Scans.zip" and "correspondence realting to hearing - Michael Haggett.doc" are together meant to constitute the whole of the evidence presented to the meeting of 3 December.

The zip package is not problematic, but I find it very odd that you should have written the second document. As I said, I appreciate the work, but what on earth is the point of you going to the trouble of now producing a Word document? Why does that document not even include all the emails I wrote, was sent, or was copied in on? And why does it jumble up the order in which the emails were sent and include some of them twice? In short, what you've provided is in fact counterproductive because it at best adds a layer of potential human error, and at worse might be seen as a version edited with the benefit of hindsight. As there is no need for redaction of this evidence, please just send me a copy of it exactly as it was presented to the Hearing Panel. This should be very easy to do. Chris would have had to send everything but any oral evidence (and there appears to be no oral evidence, but I would like confirmation of that) to the other members of the Hearing Panel by email. In sending me a copy of those emails as requested in point 3, you would kill two birds with one stone.

-

Finally, it goes without saying that the timetable will need to be put back until the outstanding information has been provided.

Best regards

Michael

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014, 7:05pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Hello Michael

Thank you for your email and yes feeling much better now.

I can confirm that these are all of the minutes of the MDSP between those dates. I have forwarded to you the minutes as i have recieved them but am not in a position to determine whether these were lodged with Ty gwynfor at the time. To be honest i doubt whether they were, but and as i have previously said that may be an item that you wish to draw to the attention of the panel in your submission. I would however direct you to the standing orders which states:

3.5  The Panel may, at this stage, resolve not to pursue the matter further. A written record of such a decision will be maintained, and the reasons for such a decision shall be conveyed to the complainant. ( my emphasis)

and

5.4  The Hearing Panel shall maintain a written record of its deliberations and findings.

Whilst I may agree that records would best be kept at Ty Gwynfor all that the SO states is that records are maintained. I do not intend therfore to make any determination as to the minutes. You are of course at liberty to suggest that this is important for the panel to consider.

As to point 3 there is no further information that i can share with you in terms of the correspondence or notes other than that which has been forwarded.

Point 4 - my understanding is that this is the evidence that was submitted to the panel - i have been forwarded the original emails and put them in a word document. I tend to agree that it is difficult to follow but have again merely put together the evidence as sent to me. If you are aware of evidence that you submitted that has not been included I would imagine that you would want to draw the attention of the panel to that. I do not know in what form that they were presented as i was obviously not in the panel.

Given that it is my contention that I am not able to provide further information to you I am going to proceed with the timetable as set out in my email Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:22 PM and therfore require you to submit your evidence by 5pm 20th Jan 2014. I am intending to finalise the date of the meeting this evening - if you would like to outline any preferences please email me before 10pm tonight after which I will inform all parties of the date set. I will send the evidence supplied to me no later than 9pm of that evening to all the parties concerned.

I understand that somwe of the information you have requested has not been forthcoming or not in the way that you would prefer. I have a duty to weigh up what are reasonable requests and what in my opinion are outside the realms of what can be reasonably presented. I'm sure that we might not agree on those judgement calls however I hope that what I have been able to obtain is sufficient for you to amke your case.

I look forward to recieving your submission.

Best Regards

Alun

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014, 2:30pm
To: Alun Cox
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Dear Alun

Thank you for your email of 16 January.

On reflection I am inclined to agree that even though the all information I have asked for has not been given to you, it is pointless to keep flogging a dead horse. I appreciate your efforts. Every opportunity has been given to Chris and others to produce the information, and they must now abide by the consequences of their failure to do so.

I have attached a zip file which contains my preliminary submission of written evidence and a copy of all email correspondence in eml form. I look forward to receiving any written evidence from other parties later this evening.

I note that you haven't yet set a firm date for the Appeal Hearing. Perhaps it would now be prudent to wait for any reaction to the written evidence before doing so, in case there are any complicating issues which come to light that might take time to resolve.

I would confirm that I am happy to answer any questions from the Appeal Panel at any time, that I intend to make a final submission of evidence in the light of any questions that have been raised. The sooner any questions are asked, the sooner I will be able to submit the final version.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

MH Preliminary Submission of Written Evidence – 20 January 2014

Note by MH. I have not included the eml file as it contains email addresses which are better kept private. The full email correspondence has already been published in this series of posts, but with personal information redacted.

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Monday, 20 January 2014, 10:36pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Hello Michael

Sorry this is slightly later than I planned but have been at a branch meeting.

I have attached the information to this email that has been provided prior to the deadline. (I have not attached your evidence). The information has been supplied by Shaughan Feakes. No initial evidence has been provided By Chris Franks although he may respond to any information supplied and I understand that he will be at the appeal hearing in person to answer any of the panels questions.

I can confirm that I have now arranged the panel to be held on the evening of 29th Jan beginning at 6pm.

I propose that we deal with any further questions submissions in the following way:

I have asked panel memebers to consider the evidence supplied and if they so wish to send any questions that they may have before 5pm on Friday 24th Jan. I will then forward any questions to the relevant parties and request that they respond no later than 5pm on Tuesday 28th Jan. I will then forward those responses to the panel so that they have aty least 24 hrs to digest the responses before we meet on the 29th. Given that you have indicated that you are not intending to be present at the panel hearing nad i cannot envisgae any realtime way of us asking questions and getting reponses in writing on the night i intend to structure the evening as follows ( approximate timings):

6pm - 6:30pm - panel discusses the evidence presented and any issues rising from the evidence suupplied.

6:30pm - 7pm - Chris Franks addresses the panel - any questions are dealt with.

7pm - 8pm: Panel discusses tthe merits of the case presented and comes to a conclusion regarding their verdict.

As indicated these are indicitive timings and will be governed by the conduct of the full appeal panel.

I would hope to communicate the concluisions of the panel to all parties within 24hrs and if for any reason I am unable to do so I will attempt to indicate to the parties how long it is likely to be before I am able to do so.

I will be forwarding an email that I recieved from Rhuanedd on Friday to you following this email taht may or may not be details that you wish to deal with in any further written submissions as it deals with what information was or was not held in Ty gwynfor and any communication that had been recieved by her during the process. I hope that is helpful.

I hope this is clear but plesae let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards

Alun

Note by MH: Two documents were attached to Alun's email. The first was a short statement from Shaughan Feakes and the second an itemized phone bill. The statement is shown below, but it would not be appropriate to include the itemized bill because it contains personal information.

Contacting Michael Haggett

As Investigating Officer in the matter of the complaint made against Michael Haggett I was given procedural advice by Fiona Sinclair of the law firm Darwin Gray, who were acting as advisors to Plaid Cymru. Fiona recommended that I speak with the three main people involved – Michael, Elin Jones and Rhun ap Iorwerth – by phone rather than by email or letter.

I accordingly spoke with Elin and Rhun on the phone, but received no answer from Michael when I called him on his mobile phone (----- ------) on two occasions, Sunday 15 and Tuesday 17 September 2013, leaving a voicemail message each time asking him to contact me. I believe I tried his land line (--- ---- ----) as well before then, but unfortunately I don’t have the itemised billing confirmation of those calls: on one occasion the phone was immediately replaced as soon as it was picked up. However, I have the itemised details of the calls from my land line to his mobile (see attached).

I do not wish to attend the hearing unless it is deemed necessary.

Shaughan Feakes

[7 January 2014]

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Monday, 20 January 2014, 11:22pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Fw: Appeal Panel

hi michael

I am having trouble forwarding the attachment. I will try to get this to you in some other way, possibly tomorrow.

Regards

Alun

Subject: Appeal Panel
Date: Friday, 17 January 2014, 11:29pm
From: Rhuanedd Richards
To: Alun Cox

Annwyl Alun

I’m writing to you in your capacity as Chair of the Appeal Panel.

As you are aware I decided at the beginning of this process, when it was decided that this complaint should be investigated, that I should declare an interest having been a co-presenter with Rhun ap Iorwerth for many years, and that I should not play any role in the matter. I have always strived to conduct my role as Chief Executive in a professional and appropriate manner and I wanted to avoid any perceived conflict.

You will also be aware that the only role I have played is to a) arrange the original meeting of the MDSP b) pass on the complaint from Elin Jones to the MDSP 3) to receive minutes and 4) to arrange an appeal panel. I also responded to an email I received from Michael Haggett on the 7th January explaining that I had informed you that I didn’t hold the full documentation he had requested.

In your capacity as Chair the only requests you have made from me is to send you a) a copy of the full minutes of the MSDP and hearing panel which I received them and b) to send you the investigating officers report.

I have however been copied in to a number of emails from the beginning, and I note from the 16 January that there is a request for further information with regards to the timing of the receipt of the minutes.

In light of this, and because I am on leave --------------------------- between the 18/1/14 and 29/1/14, I believe the appropriate course of action under these circumstances is to share with you the information I have and that you as Chair decide whether it is relevant and should be shared. The last thing I want is for any lack of disclosure on my part to frustrate proceedings.

With regards the minutes for the MDSP full meetings, the office received them in the days following those meetings. The situation was different with regards to the minutes of the Hearing Panel. They were kept by the panel itself, as was the investigating officer’s report, until after its deliberations had concluded and I didn’t see this documentation until the 14th January 2014 at which point I subsequently shared them with you as requested.

In light of that fact that I had chosen not to be a part of this process, it is also the case that I would not have necessarily seen all correspondence relating to the hearing – I cannot confirm that one way or another. I have, however, decided to send you all the correspondence from 2013 I hold in relation to the hearing – although you have not requested it. I’m doing so as I see your deadline for evidence is set for the period while I’m away and you may decide that you require this information.

Diolch yn fawr.

Kind regards

Rhuanedd

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Wednesday, 22 January 2014, 4:26pm
To: Alun Cox
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Dear Alun

Thank you for your email.

With regard to Shaughan, what happened now makes a little more sense. He was trying to contact me using out-of-date information. The BT landline number he tried has not been mine since early 2012. It has probably been reassigned since then, and whoever put the phone down on him probably didn't appreciate getting repeated calls from someone they'd never heard of. The mobile number he tried is that of an old Virgin pay-as-you-go phone that I still have, but now hardly ever use.

The legal advice he refers to is interesting. I have no doubt that it is very sound advice to give to any person or organization that doesn't want to be held to account for what they say, because they can then claim they didn't say it or said something different. And, equally, if the other person was misrepresented, there is also no way that they could subsequently prove they said something different. Many responsible companies and organizations record telephone conversations as a matter of good practice precisely to avoid any potential disputes over what was said, and every company or organization I have worked with would expect people to at least keep file notes of important conversations. It is therefore quite bizarre that people in positions of responsibility in Plaid Cymru would choose to do the exact opposite.

The question is why on earth any person or organization would not want to be accountable for what they say. It illustrates a huge gap between, on the one hand, my openness and willingness to commit everything I have to say to writing; and, on the other hand, the distinct lack of candour or willingness to be held to account from Chris and Shaughan. I am now more glad than ever that I made the decision to ensure that all my dealings on this matter were done in writing and only in writing.

In the light of what Shaughan has said, I will now revise my statement (in the final paragraph of section 2.5) that Shaughan "had no intention" of asking me any questions. Clearly he did attempt to contact me. However, as seen from my perspective, I was completely unaware of it. I would highlight what I said in section 2.5 of my evidence:

And if he had tried to phone me but failed to get through, the normal, natural reaction would surely have been to send me an email to say so, for I was careful to copy him in on all correspondence. He didn’t.

I would have thought a short email saying something like, "I tried to contact you by phone, and left a voice message. Would you please phone me", would not have compromised him in any way. At least I would then have known he was trying to contact me. But even if Shaughan felt that he couldn't email me on principle, because of the legal advice, I'd have expected him to have spoken to or emailed Chris about it. Did he do so? If no email or file note of a conversation about it exists (which is what has been claimed) the answer is obviously no. Or will Shaughan now claim that he did raise the matter with Chris?

Now of course, it's very likely that I would still have insisted on things being done in writing. It would depend on how convinced I was by whatever reasons I was given for wanting to do it only by phone. But nobody even bothered to tell me that there were such concerns about committing things to writing, let alone explain why there were such concerns.

I also find it amazing that these attempts to contact me have only now come to light, some four months after the event. I did everything I could to flag up the problem at the time. If the matter had been addressed at the time it could have been resolved at the time. But by refusing to tell me anything and pressing on regardless I was deliberately excluded from the investigation.

-

With regard to Rhuanedd, I would be totally amazed if you received an email from her on Friday but did not forward it to me until late on Monday night. You made the decision to set a deadline of 20 January on the basis that you had tried your best to get the information I requested in my email of 18 December to Rhuanedd, and that there was no more information to be had; and I, in turn, prepared my submission in good faith on that basis. If you had sent me the information from Rhuanedd when you received it, I would have been able to take account of it. If you had difficulties with forwarding the files she sent you, you should at the very least have flagged this up and extended the 20 January deadline to allow for it.

As I still haven't received the attachment I'll hold comment on her email. But I've now waited for several days, and I do not want to delay sending you this email any longer because my next point is urgent and important, and might well affect the proposed timetable.

-

With regard to Chris, it is totally unacceptable for him be allowed to "address" the Appeal Panel in the way you have proposed and then be questioned about what he says. In our earlier correspondence we agreed that no party should be allowed to give evidence at the hearing which had not been disclosed beforehand.

Chris has not disclosed the evidence he clearly intends to give when he "addresses" the Appeal Panel. By not disclosing this evidence, I have been put at a two-fold disadvantage. First, he will now be able to tailor his evidence in the light of what I have said. However this is not so much of a disadvantage, for I have been open and transparent throughout the procedure and my submission of evidence document essentially highlights what I have said in previous email correspondence. So Chris would have already had a very good idea of what I would say.

The second disadvantage is much more serious. If Chris is allowed to leave it until the last minute to present his evidence, I will have no opportunity to consider, question, challenge or rebut what he might say in it; but he will have had ample opportunity to do the same with my evidence. This is one-sided and completely unfair.

I would stress that I have no objection to Chris giving evidence. But I must be given the same opportunity to respond to the evidence he presents as he and other parties have now had to respond to mine. That is what disclosure is all about. No party should be allowed to pull surprise evidence out of a hat at the last minute.

As I see it there are two ways round this problem. The first is to give Chris another chance to submit his evidence in writing, and not be allowed to introduce any new evidence to the Appeal Hearing that he had not previously presented in writing. However if Chris remains unwilling to put what he has to say in writing, the second way of solving the problem is for the Appeal Panel to hold an evidence-gathering session at which Chris will be allowed to say what he wishes and be asked any questions about it, and for a full transcript to be sent to me. This would then give me (and others, if they so wished) an opportunity to respond to it in the same way as he and others have been given the opportunity to respond to my evidence, and indeed Shaughan's. The Appeal Panel would then need to meet again to deliberate and reach a conclusion.

I think the first is better than the second because it saves you having to meet twice, but if Chris continues to refuse to put his evidence in writing there is no other choice. If he is allowed circumvent the principle of disclosure, the appeal process will descend into farce.

-

Finally, I have to say that I can see no reason at all why you can't send me emails while the Appeal Panel meets, although of course it would be better for any questions to be asked sooner rather than later. If I'm asked the questions beforehand, there probably won't be any need to ask me anything further. But I will make myself available, just in case.

Best regards

Michael

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Wednesday, 22 January 2014, 11:42pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Hi Michael

Thank you again for your email today. I note your position regarding Shaughan and will make the panel aware of the detail of this email either by forwarding this to them and / or by checking that you have made these points in your further evidence.

With regard to the email from Rhuanedd - I have to appologise that i did not not forward immediately and had only checked in once at the weekend. I hope that you will still have a chance to look at the details of the emails ( mostly from yourself) and if there is anything in the deatails of that you wish to highlight that is your perogative. The problem that I am having is that i have unzipped the docs and am having difficulty zipping again so the attachments are too large. I will again see what I can do later.

I'm afraid I disagree with you regarding the appropriateness of the procedure on the night of the panel hearing. My intention is to get to the bottom of any issues that you have raised in your evidence it is your case, your appeal that we are considering. It is up to any party whether they wish or do not wish to supply written information to the panel. It is my intention to allow Chris to give evidence in writing or orally as he sees fit. It may well be that panel memebers will have questions for chris following your evidence and if so I will forward those questions to chris and the response to all parties 24 hrs before the panel hearing as outlined in my previous email. My understanding of practice within the party has been to allow any party to chose how they present themselves and evidence to the panel. i have however tried wherever possible as the process has developed to incorpiorate your wishes into how we organise the panel whenever I have believed they are appropriate , helpful and fair. I will also reiterate what I have said in previous emails that I would not expect any body to pull anything out of the hat - ie some important information that has not been disclosed BUT i would welcome the opportunity to question any party that has been involoved as to thye detail of the case and thier perceptions / reasons for decisions. It will of course be up to he panel to decide what weight they attach to any such evidence.

As to the questionsing on the night I have given al parties an opportunity is they so wish to attend and answer questions on the evening. I cannot envisage an effective way in which the appeal panel formulates questions in real time submits those to you and awaits your response. I could envisage telephone call / skype call with immediate questions and answers but from previous correspondence with you i gather that you would not welcome that.

I will now try to forward the uinformation suppliesd by Rhuanedd to me - but will lett you know if i still have difficulties.

Regards

Alun

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Thursday, 23 January 2014, 12:01pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Email from Rhuanedd

Hi michael

Still finding it impossible to get the file/ documents to you. Will see if i can do so from source by contacting Rhuanedd even while on holiday.

apologies

Alun

From: Rhuanedd Richards
Sent: Thursday, 23 January 2014, 2:19pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Alun Cox
Subject: Fw: Appeal Panel

Dear Michael

I have been asked by Alun Cox to forward this email to you on his behalf.

-------------- [Member of staff at Ty Gwynfor]

Note by MH: The body of the email forwarded is already included with Alun's email of 20 January. There are 42 separate eml files attached. Of these, 37 out of 42 are emails which I wrote, was sent, or was copied in on and these have already been published. Of the remainder, the only ones of particular relevance are Elin's original complaint of 2 August and a later translation of it for the benefit of Chris. Both are shown below. The others were purely to do with administrative arrangements, and therefore have not been published.

From: Elin Jones
Sent: Thursday, 2 August 2013, 8:47am
To: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Cwyn

Annwyl Rhuanedd

Hoffwn wneud cwyn swyddogol yn erbyn un o aelodau y Blaid am ddwyn anfri ar Blaid Cymru a thanseilio ymdrechion Plaid Cymru i ennill sedd Ynys Môn dros yr wythnosau diwethaf. Mae'r gwyn yn erbyn Michael Haggett ac yn benodol am gynnwys ei flog Syniadau.

Fe roedd cynnwys y blog yn tanseilio integriti yr ymgeisydd ac yn dwyn sylw negyddol at ymgyrch Blaid Cymru yn ystod yr is-etholiad. Nid camgymeriad un-tro oedd y blog yma, ond 3 blog niweidiol.

Mae'n siwr taw llond dwrn o Bobol Ynys Môn ddarllenodd y blog, ond fe ddenyddiwyd cynnwys y blog yn ddi-drugaredd yn ein erbyn gan Llafur Môn ac hefyd fe roedd yn destun erthygl newyddiadurol genedlaethol a oedd yn niweidiol i Blaid Cymru.

Fe roedd Rhun ap Iorwerth yn ymgeisydd digon cadarn i Blaid Cymru i wrthsefyll ymosodiad personol o'r fath gan aelod cyffredin o Blaid Cymru. Ond ni all Blaid Cymru adael i aelod flogio mewn ffordd a oedd oedd yn fwriadol tanseilio holl ymdrechion lleol a chenedlaethol Plaid Cymru ar Ynys Môn a dwi'n gofyn felly i Blaid Cymru ystyried a ydy'r aelod yma bellach yn ddigon cyfrifol i gadw ei aelodaeth o Blaid Cymru.

Fe rydw i yn deall dy fod ar wyliau estynedig nawr a felly ni fyddaf yn disgwyl ymateb i'r ebost yma tan Mis Medi.

Hwyl am y tro

Elin

 
Dear Rhuanedd

I’d like to make an official complaint against a Party member for bringing the Party’s name into disrepute and undermining Plaid Cymru’s efforts to win the Ynys Mon seat over the last few weeks. The complaint is against Michael Haggett and specifically about the content of his blog, Syniadau.

The content of the blog undermined the integrity of the candidate and brought negative attention to Plaid Cymru’s campiagn during the by-election. This blog wasn’t a one-off mistake, but 3 damaging blogs.

I’m sure that only a handful of people in Ynys Môn read the blog, but the content of the blog was mercilessly used against us by Labour in Môn and it was also the subject of a national journalistic article which was damaging to the Party.

Rhun ap Iorwerth was a strong enough candidate for Plaid Cymru to resist such a personal attack by an ordinary Plaid Cymru member. But the Party cannot allow a member to blog in a way which intentionally undermined all the local and national efforts of Plaid Cymru on Ynys Mon and I therefore ask the Party to consider whether this member is now responsible enough to keep his membership of Plaid Cymru.

I understand you are now on an extended holiday and therefore I won't expect an answer to this email until September.

Cheers for now

Elin

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Thursday, 23 January 2014, 9:40pm
To: Alun Cox
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Dear Alun

I have now been forwarded copies of the eml files Rhuanedd included in her last email. Thanks, -------. With so many files, many of them with the same name, I can see why you had such difficulty re-zipping them. As I'm an old hand at such things, I've put them together as a new zip file and uploaded it to dropbox. This is the link:

     [See note in previous email]

As you said, they are mostly (37 out of 42, in fact) copies of emails that I either sent or received. These 37 are all included in the single eml file I sent you on Monday, and it's probably easier all round to refer to just that one file, because everything is set out in chronological order without duplication ... and therefore it's a lot smaller.

However there are five eml files which are new to me, and I have copied these into a separate zip file for convenience:

     [See note in previous email]

Of these five, the only email of particular note (the others are to do with administrative arrangements) is an earlier letter of complaint by Elin, dated 2 August. It is in Welsh, but there is a translation in the email of 4 September. Elin wrote a second letter of complaint dated 30 August which Rhuanedd received a copy of, but it is not included in the package. It would appear that only the second letter was considered by the MDSP, because the first is not referred to or included in any information I have previously been sent.

Because of the difficulties you had in re-assembling the original zip file, might I ask you to double-check that Rhuanedd's original zip file did not include any files other than the ones I have mentioned, as it is possible that one or two files might have inadvertently been omitted?

I'll deal with the other matters in a separate email, but am sending you this now because it would be good to get this matter out of the way first. If you can confirm that there are no missing files and that you do not expect any other files or evidence to be disclosed prior to the hearing, I will be able to send you a revised version of my submission of evidence, reflecting what has been disclosed to me, almost immediately.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Thursday, 23 January 2014, 9:57pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Hi michael

thanks for getting back to me and for being able to deal technically with the zipping of these files - really useful.

------- forarded the email that Rhuanedd sent to me from her sent items therfore in that you have all the docs / emails that were sent to me.

So can confirm that there are no other files ( to my knowledge) and I am not expecting any other evidence.

Regards

Alun

From: -------------- [Member of staff at Ty Gwynfor]
Sent: Friday, 24 January 2014, 11:01am
To: Michael Haggett, Alun Cox
Subject: Yml/Fw: Next steps

Dear Michael and Alun

Rhuanedd inadvertently left this email out of the previous bundle although it was included in her file. I've spoken with her and she apologises for this mistake and has asked that I send it on to you both.

Rhuanedd will be back in the country and in the office on Monday and will be available to answer any further questions.

Kind regards

Note by MH: This email included a short chain of email correspondence. The new information was a response from Chris Franks to Elin's email of 2 August, and this is shown below. Elin's second letter of complaint dated 30 August has already been published.

From: Elin Jones
Sent: Friday, 30 August 2013, 10:44am
To: Elin Jones
Subject: Complaint

Hi Elin

I refer to your complaint regarding the comments of a member concerning the Mon By election. A meeting of the Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel has been called for Tuesday. It would be helpful if you could clearly indicate under which section[s] of Standing Orders you are making a complaint and what are the grounds. We do not need the full evidence at this stage as we are initially only looking to determine if there is a case to answer. A specific link to the material which forms the basis of your complaint would be helpful. Please note the following extract from the constitution.

Best Wishes

Chris

 
The grounds for initiating disciplinary or investigatory procedures shall be as follows:

3.1i  Actions or statements in conflict with the aims or core principles of the Party, as articulated in the Constitution.

3.1ii  Membership of an organisation contesting elections in opposition to Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales, or contesting such an election as an individual;

3.1iii  Actions or statements damaging, or potentially damaging, the public reputation of the Party;

3.1iv  Failure to abide by any instructions or guidance given as a result of previous disciplinary action;

3.1v  Persistent conduct in Party meetings which is intimidatory, harassing or which is aimed at causing distress or disillusionment among Party members and/or staff.

3.1vi  In respect of elected representatives, failure to abide by expected standards as described in 1.2 above.

3.1vii  Making a public statement in breach of Clause 9 of these Standing Orders.

From: Alun Cox
Sent: Thursday, 24 January 2014, 10:35pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards
Subject: Appeal

Hello Michael

I have recieved no written questions from the panel. I have emmailed them tonight to remind them of the deadline that has passed and to request that they submit any questions to me by 10:00am tomorrow if they still wish to do so . If they do, not sure that they will, I will forward to you and I hope that you will still be able to respond.

I hope that is ok but thought it was worth giving an extra chance.

Regards

Alun

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Saturday, 25 January 2014, 5:21am
To: Alun Cox
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Leanne Wood, Janet Davies, Phil Bevan, Richard Grigg
Subject: Re: Appeal and other matters

Dear Alun

I am attaching a zip file which contains my final submission of written evidence and an updated copy of the chain of email correspondence sent by or addressed to me. My submission has been revised to reflect the evidence disclosed to me by Shaughan and Rhuanedd, and I have also added some comments about Chris's refusal to disclose the evidence he intends to present.

With respect, I think that your deadline of 10:00am today (25 January) is now ridiculous, especially as I was sent one piece of outstanding evidence only yesterday. You simply have not taken any account of the fact that evidence from others was not disclosed by the deadline of 20 January.

For my part I would repeat that I am still prepared, as I always have been, to answer any questions anyone cares to send me at any time. For this reason I have taken the liberty of also sending this directly to Janet, Phil and Richard so as to give them as much opportunity as possible to consider it. All four of you are welcome to send me questions irrespective of your deadline, and my answers will be sent to all four of you.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

Note by MH: My final submission of written evidence will be published in the next post. The full email correspondence has already been published in this series of posts, but with personal information redacted.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder Plaid are sometimes confused over party policy?

Just look at the way members communicate with each other. The confusion, the obfuscation, the malice ............

Is this really a party I would ever vote for?

Anonymous said...

By the way, why didn't you wish to attend the enquiry hearing?

Anonymous said...

The malice flows entirely in one direction - MH is frequently petulant or aggressive. He insults everybody at some point or other. He's treated with curtesy & respect by party officials - despite frequent provocation.

Anonymous said...

" Sorry I haven't GOTTEN back to you"

This is inexcusable, have Plaid no sense of decency!

Anonymous said...

Why not just join the Labour party and be done with it?

Anonymous said...

How do you know that he isn't a member of a unionist party? His links to Wales are at best tenuous.

Anonymous said...

Wales Eye have now GOTTEN hold of the story

http://waleseye.com/post/77752095468/nuclear-option

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Wales Eye has chosen to report the story in a manner that is rather sympathetic to Rhun ap Iowerth.

Damaging to Wales Eye in my opinion.

The facts are clear. Rhun expressed his full support for Wylva B on 19th July 2013 via Twitter. The people of Anglesey and the people of Wales will have to live with the consequences for many generations!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Why not just join the Labour party and be done with it?
25 February 2014 11:18 "

Why would he do that? Labour supports nuclear power.

Anonymous said...

And, more to the point, Plaid Cymru is OPPOSED to nuclear power. It is the leadership who are hell bent on trying to change this policy, betraying the ordinary members of the party. MH is standing up to the leadership on behalf of the ordinary members. Is he going to be thrown out of the party for AGREEING with party policy?????

Colwyn said...

Wales Eye is a parody of journalism. Maybe in a couple of months time they'll get round to 'revealing' the name of the 'party supporter' involved.

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned. Well, I'm not stunned. And do I have it right that Chris Franks was effectively helping Elin Jones put in the complaint by citing relevant sections of the standing orders that he was curiously reticent to produce when MH was asking for clarification? Shameful.

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