This is the eighth 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: Michael Haggett
Sent: Monday, 21 October 2013, 3:30pm
To: Chris Franks
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Shaughan Feakes, Leanne Wood, Elin Jones
Subject: Re: Complaint
Thank you for your email of 19 October.
The first thing to note is that you are still refusing to answer my questions. This is a list of the simple, factual information that you haven't provided:
1. The names of the people on the Hearing Panel.
2. The timetable for the investigation.
3. Whether the MDSP had already evaluated Rhun ap Iorwerth's statements on Sunday Supplement and Pawb a'i Farn, and what action or decisions you had made regarding them. As so much time has passed since I asked this question, you will now need to be specific about when you did this.
4. Whether, apart from the matter of Rhun's dishonesty, there are any other aspects of what I said in the comments you quoted which you found to be of concern.
5. What action you have taken with regard to my formal complaints against Rhun, Elfyn Bob and Dafydd, specifically:
5.1 Whether you have informed them of the complaints against them.
5.2 Whether you have set up Hearing Panels.
5.3 The names of the people on those Hearing Panels.
5.4 The name of the Investigating Officers and timetable for the investigations.
6. Whether you have kept the other members of the MDSP informed of our correspondence. Again, you will now need to be specific about when you did so.
As you had not even set a timetable for the investigation of the matter, it is wholly bizarre that you should now tell me that it has been completed, and even more bizarre that this so-called "investigation" has not involved asking me one single question. Once again, you are blatantly ignoring the party's standing orders.
Even more incredibly, you have now informed me that the deadline for presenting written evidence was 16 October ... three days before you sent your email.
In order for you to proceed with any hearing, you first need to disclose the case against me. As your decision to hold a hearing is based on the Investigating Officer's report, I therefore need to receive a copy of it. I would also need to receive a copy of any evidence the complainant might wish to offer in support of her allegation. Only then will I be in a position to decide what evidence or representation I would need to properly defend myself in any hearing.
I would also remind you once again of the wider implications of this matter and the damage that will be caused to the reputation of Plaid Cymru if you do not act in a fair, impartial and even-handed manner.
You have a duty to evaluate the conduct of any member of the party, whether through a complaint or as part of the MDSP's general remit under Clause 3.2iii of Standing Orders, and I have absolutely no objection to being held to account for anything I have said. But it is wholly unreasonable to decide to set up a Hearing Panel and appoint an Investigating Officer to hear a case against me for what I said about Rhun ap Iorwerth's dishonesty without, at the same time, following the same procedure with regard to Rhun for telling the lies that occasioned such criticism.
So far you have refused to act even-handedly, but you are still able to put things right by taking exactly the same steps which you have chosen to take against me against Rhun. Natural justice requires that you must also take the same steps against Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd, because they told essentially similar lies and it would be unfair to take action against Rhun alone. Your refusal to act in an impartial manner shows blatant bias and prejudice on your part; and it was because because you had failed to do your job that I made formal complaints against all four, so as to leave you with absolutely no excuse for failing to act with proper diligence. The Chair of the MDSP needs to take their responsibilities very much more seriously than you have done so far, so as to avoid bringing the party into even further disrepute. It is only fair to inform you that I have now taken steps to have you replaced, as the deadline I set in my previous email of 14 October has expired. It certainly spurred you into action, but the action required of you was to answer my questions.
I must therefore insist that the MDSP postpones any hearing against me until such time as it has disclosed the case against me and the evidence to support it, and until the complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd have been properly investigated. I understand that they might wish to have the matter treated separately, and I fully respect that. But as the case against me (so far as I can tell, since I have not received an answer to question 4 or a copy of the Investigating Officer's report) hinges entirely on whether Rhun was or was not telling the truth, it is impossible to make a proper judgment in one case without having considered the other cases as well.