Plaid Cymru, the third-largest party in the Senedd and the Welsh government’s co-operation partner, has apologized for failing to implement a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment. The party leaders, Adam Price and Marc Jones, have accepted and agreed to implement all of the recommendations from a report into the party’s culture. The report, commissioned by the Prosiect Pawb working group, was chaired by former Plaid Senedd member Nerys Evans. It found that there had been “inaction over many years” from those in “positions of power” to call out bad behavior.
The party leaders have expressed their deep regret for the instances of unacceptable behavior that have been allowed to take place or go unchallenged, which have let down individuals, particularly women. They acknowledge that their processes and governance arrangements have been insufficient to address this. They have apologized on behalf of the collective leadership of Plaid Cymru and have pledged to do better in fostering a culture that is safe, inclusive, and respectful to all. Regaining the trust of colleagues and members is their top priority.
Report Finds Inherent Imbalance of Power within the Party
The report highlights an “inherent imbalance of power” within the party that creates “obvious vulnerabilities and concerns.” It also points to a “lack of policies and procedures in place to deal specifically with sexual harassment” and a “lack of faith and trust” in existing policies due to historic issues of inconsistencies in their implementation. Party staff have reported “bullying and discrimination in the workplace,” but have “seen too many instances of bad behavior by elected members be tolerated.”
The report calls for a “fundamental review” of the party’s governance structures and a “lack of collective leadership and governance across the party.” It also emphasizes the need for collective responsibility and action to rebuild trust and restore the confidence of all those who work for the party and within party membership.
The report contains 82 recommendations under seven themes: sexual harassment, governance and leadership, culture, HR process, safeguarding, complaints system, and ensuring change. Plaid Cymru has committed to accepting and implementing all of the recommendations to create a safe and respectful party culture.
Leave a Reply