PLAID Cymru has issued a statement after the wife of MP Jonathan Edwards spoke at him being readmitted into the party’s Westminster group.

Emma Edwards, the MP’s estranged wife, broke her silence late on Thursday and claimed Plaid’s decision is sending out the message ‘that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter’.

She also revealed a much shared statement, issued on behalf of the then couple shortly after Edwards’ arrest, had been prepared by his press officer and that she regretted signing it.

In response Plaid Cymru said in a statement this afternoon: “Plaid Cymru believes the voice of victims of domestic violence must be listened to, and the party is considering carefully the implications of the public statement made by Emma Edwards and what action may need to be taken as a result of her statement.”

Leader Adam Price is facing calls to once again withdraw the party whip from Jonathan Edwards after Ms Edwards said she was “appalled” he has been allowed back into the Westminster group.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, Jane Dodds, the only female party leader in Wales, called for Price to once again remove the whip from the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP.

It was only confirmed on Wednesday night that Edwards, suspended by the party two years ago after he accepted a police caution for assaulting his wife, would have the whip restored.

Emma Edwards said: “I am appalled and disappointed that the party I was until recently a member of has accepted a domestic abuser to represent them as an MP.

“This sends out the message that women don’t matter and that survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter. I always believed Plaid Cymru to be better than this.

“Until now, I have maintained my silence. I’m not a political person and I do not seek publicity, but I cannot stand by and watch the truth being distorted as it has been.”

Emma was assaulted by her husband during the lockdown of May 2020.

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The police were called to their home and Jonathan Edwards subsequently accepted a police caution. Two months later, Plaid Cymru suspended him from the party.

Today Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds said: “It is not acceptable that Jonathan Edwards has had the whip restored and if Plaid Cymru and Adam Price are serious about tackling violence against women they must withdraw the whip immediately. 

“Emma Edwards has been extraordinarily brave in giving her statement, but she shouldn’t have had to do this.

“If Adam Price or the Plaid Cymru NEC do not take action, it will be a serious dereliction of duty and leadership both by him and the party. 

“All politicians and political parties in Wales must work to eliminate violence against women across all of society.”

Whilst Edwards was later allowed to resume his membership of the party, Plaid prevented him from resuming the whip which meant his position as an MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr remained Independent.

But this Wednesday Plaid said it had reinstated Mr Edwards, following what it described as ‘procedural advice’ after the party was informed it was unlawful to exclude him.

This decision, however, has been condemned by Sian Gwenllian, MS for Arfon and communications director of Plaid’s national executive committee.

Sian Gwenllian and Elin Jones staging a vigil at the Senedd for Women Against Violence

“Jonathan Edwards will resume his title but my view has not changed,” she said.

“Violence against women, including domestic violence, is rife within our society and while men suffer from domestic violence and coercive behaviour, women suffer far more.

“Welsh Women’s Aid have confirmed that male violence against women is now at epidemic levels across Wales with at least one in three women across the UK experiencing domestic violence.

“Police data shows that the Covid-19 lockdowns intensified already record high incidents of domestic violence and abuse in Wales and the use of violence by any individual against another is totally unacceptable.

“If we are to realise true gender equality, then as a society, we must challenge and denounce gender-based violence whenever it occurs.”