How Plaid Cymru Works - 9

This is the ninth 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: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 7:38am
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Re: Proposals for resolving our problem

Dear Michael

Leanne Wood has referred your correspondence to me as Party Chair relating to the disciplinary process. I am naturally most concerned to ensure that the disciplinary process as set out in the Party's Constitution and Standing Orders has been followed. I understand from your letter to Leanne that you do not believe this to be the case.

I should be grateful therefore if you could set out which elements of the process as set out in standing orders have not been followed. This will then allow me as Chair to consider what remedial action may or may not be necessary.

Please be assured that I am totally committed to ensuring that the Disciplinary process as agreed by the Party through Conference and National Council will be implemented, thus ensuring that all parties to such processes are treated fairly and consistently,

Sincerely

Dafydd Trystan

Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies
Cadeirydd / Chair Plaid Cymru

From: Chris Franks
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 1:32pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Complaint

Dear Michael

I note your last email which will receive a response as soon as I can. Meanwhile I will forward a password protected file of the report from Shaughan. The password is 'document'.

Best Wishes

Chris Franks

From: Chris Franks
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 1:34pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Complaint

Here is the file.

Report Scans

From: Chris Franks
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 2:17pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Complaint

Michael

Here is the complaint against you.

Chris Franks

Thank you for your email and I can confirm that I am making my complaint against Michael Hagget, the author of the blog Syniadau, on the basis that the content of the blogs of July 20th, July 28th, July 30th and August 15th all included statements that were damaging to the public reputation of Plaid Cymru (Standing Order 3.1.iii). The blog can be found here:
http://syniadau--buildinganindependentwales.blogspot.co.uk

I have included here 3 sentences/paragraphs in particular that were damaging:

“We do not need dishonest politicians like Rhun ap Iorwerth. If he's elected on Thursday he will be a liability to Plaid Cymru for years to come, because he clearly isn't interested in Plaid's policies for Wales. He is a cuckoo who has duped his way into our nest in order to follow a private agenda of his own, or the agenda of a narrow interest group within the party that refuses to accept democratic decisions made by the membership as a whole.”

“If Rhun wants clarity, then we need to be absolutely clear that he is misleading people on this issue by telling blatant lies.”

“If Rhun ap Iorwerth is elected, it would be a tragedy for Plaid Cymru, for Ynys Môn and for Wales.”

The context of these blog postings was the Ynys Mon by-election – the most important by-election for Plaid Cymru since Ceredigion 2001. It was an excellent campaign with a perfect candidate for Ynys Mon. The people of Ynys Mon agree with me on that.

However, for a member of Plaid Cymru to seek to destabilise the campaign by accusing the candidate of “misleading people” and “telling blatant lies” is unacceptable behaviour. These statements were used over and over again on social media against Rhun by the Labour Party and the blog became the subject of an article in the Western Mail.

Luckily for Plaid Cymru the blog is not widely read and had next-to-no-impact on the people of Ynys Mon. Even if they did hear of the blog’s content, I am sure they would have known Rhun’s integrity well enough to trust him over an unknown blogger.

The blog was however a distraction for Plaid Cymru workers during the election and was demoralising for those canvassers who heard of its existence during the campaign. I know because I was there.

As the Party’s Director of Communication, I chose to ignore the blogs and not contact the author during the campaign. To do so could have run the risk of stirring up more negative blog activity.

However, after the election was over and now again almost a month later, then the content of the blogs cannot be ignored.

They damaged and had the potential to cause considerable damage to the Party’s byelection on Ynys Mon.

The author showed no party loyalty or respect for the hundreds of party volunteers who gave hours and days and weeks of their time to Plaid Cymru in Ynys Mon in July 2013.

If this Party does not fight and win elections then it has no power to change the fate of Wales. It is not a one-issue protest group. It is a national political party. Any attempt to undermine your own party’s candidate and campaign during an election period should not be tolerated by this Party.

Diolch

elin

Elin Jones AC/AM
Plaid Cymru
Aberystwyth

From: Chris Franks
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 2:17pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Complaint

Dear Michael

Thank you for your email of 21 October.

Here is my response to your list of questions and comments.

1.  The names of the people on the Hearing Panel.

Lisa Turnbull, Farida Aslam and myself. Be aware that should you attempt to communicate directly with the other members of the Panel I am advising them to return all document or delete emails. Anything you have to present should be presented at the Hearing.

2.  The timetable for the investigation.

The timetable is submission of evidence should have stated 25 October. I am sorry for the error in stating the date was 16 October. In fact you are able to present all the evidence you wish at the hearing. I mentioned a date, which was a typo, to assist in the smooth running of the hearing. In addition you are entitled to be represented at the Hearing.

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.

The Hearing is concerned with your comments not any other persons.

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.

This will depend on the evidence presented to the Hearing by Elin Jones AM. I have not expressed any opinion regarding your comments.

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.

These are separate matters which will be dealt with. It is intended to deal with this complaint first.

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.

I will give a full report to other members at the Hearing.

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.

As explain I made an error in the date for the written evidence – see above

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 have sent to file to you. I have also sent the complaint from Elin Jones.

The time table has been supplied to you. The Hearing is on Monday 28 October at 5.00 pm. The venue is Ty Gwynfor, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff.

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.

Noted.

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.

Noted. You are entitled to raise this matter at the Hearing.

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.

Noted.

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.

The Hearing will consider your request on Monday 28 October however as it stands the Hearing will proceed to consider the evidence on this date. That is the purpose of the Hearing.

Best Wishes

Chris Franks

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 10:12am
To: Dafydd Trystan
Cc: Rhuanedd Richards, Shaughan Feakes, Leanne Wood, Chris Franks, Elin Jones
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear Dafydd

Thank you for your email. I've included the entire correspondence on these matters in date order as part of this email. Start reading at the bottom and work your way up.

Since you wrote, I have received a flurry of emails from Chris. I am grateful that the combined efforts of Leanne and yourself have prompted Chris into action. Some of my questions have been answered, but many have not. I still require answers to the outstanding questions without further evasion.

-

The emails and attached documents I have received today contain a lot of information, which it will take me some time to digest and respond to. However I can make this point now:

My complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd must be properly evaluated by the MDSP without delay. This is a responsibility that cannot be postponed. Elin's complaint against me was made on 30 August, and I was informed that a Hearing Panel had been set up on 9 September, just over a week later. My complaints were made on 16 September, and should have been evaluated within an equivalent timescale; yet more than five weeks have passed without any action being taken.

The MDSP must have met before 19 October (the date on which Chris informed me of the Hearing Panel's decision to proceed with a formal hearing) and there is absolutely no excuse for them not to have evaluated my complaints and then made a decision about whether or not to appoint Hearing Panels for Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd at that meeting, if not before. This failure to treat Elin's complaint and my complaints even-handedly and impartially is confirmation that they have acted, and are still acting, in an unfair and blatantly biased manner. This must be corrected immediately.

This may not be the fault of the entire MDSP, however. The only person on the MDSP I have dealt with has been Chris. For all I know, he might not have forwarded our correspondence to them beforehand or put the matter on the agenda. From his refusal to answer my questions about it and the completely ridiculous comment he has just made about other members of the Hearing Panel returning documents and deleting emails, it seems highly likely that he has been keeping other members of the MDSP in the dark about what has been happening.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

As a Plaid Cymru member I must say that I'm a little disturbed that the organization has gone to so much effort & trouble over what seems an open & shut case. Haggett tried to sabbotage a vitally important by election campaign (with a spectacular lack of success). He should obviously have been thrown out of the party with no ceremony. If he isn't already out, he should be thrown out for his latest attempt to undermine the party.

Haggett is almost certainly a security services plant who broke cover too early. This sort of thing has happened in the past & will almost certainly happen again.

Anonymous said...

"Security services plant"??? Is not Dafydd Ellis Thomas a more obvious 'plant' when he sold out for a "Lordship"??? Everywhere he goes he represents the interests of the British Establishment to mock independence and prevent Wales ever breaking free. But Plaid Cymru won't get rid of that traitor to Wales will they!

Anonymous said...

michael go back to scotland

Welsh not British said...

In the EU elections look out for Plaid candidates appealing to the UKIP voters by saying that Plaid policy is anti-EU and they want Wales out of the EU.

In the next General Election watch out for Plaid candidates saying they want an end to devolution and the Senedd scrapped, again another policy lie.

In the next Senedd election watch out for Plaid candidates saying they want Cymraeg banned outright, again another policy lie.

Whilst the above are clearly extreme examples they are basically what Rhun and chums have done with nuclear power. And yet MH appears to be the only one the witch hunt is dealing with. Where was the trial? Tŷ Salem?

The British nationalist parties in their various colours are over flowing with hypocrisy and contradictions. They are constantly providing ammo for their own downfall and yet instead of sticking to its principles and seizing these opportunities Plaid is making the same failures.

Wales is desperate for a party like the SNP, a party that is clear as to what their goals are and sticks rigidly to their principles. Wales really needs Plaid to step up and become a party like that. There are so many people out there waiting for Plaid to be the party they need to be in order for them to join.

We are on the brink of something here in Wales, a yes vote in Scotland will show people how much better life could be and how much the London owned media and their own so called Welsh politicians have been lieing to them all this time.

We don't need another Labour party. We need a real nationalist party.

Owen said...

I've been following this out of curiosity - you should've foreseen some sort of reprimand coming, MH and it might even be justified for one reason (nothing to do with your policy objections, by the way).

Having said that, I'm not impressed - infuriated, even - with how Plaid have gone about this and I'll have enough to say myself once this "saga" has reached a conclusion.

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