ADAM Price has this evening quit as leader of Plaid Cymru following the publication of a damning report into misogyny and bullying in the party.
At a meeting of Plaid Cymru’s National Executive Committee (NEC) tonight (Wednesday, 10 May) Adam Price MS informed members that he will be stepping down as leader of the party once interim arrangements are in place.
The NEC approved a motion allowing the Plaid Cymru Senedd Group to invite nominations for the position of interim leader at its meeting tomorrow morning (Thursday) subject to ratification by the party’s National Council on Saturday.
A new leader will be in place in the summer and a timetable outlining the process of electing a permanent Leader will be communicated to party members at the earliest possible opportunity.
In a letter to Marc Jones, the Chair of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS said: “We have driven the agenda for change in a way that no previous opposition party has dreamt of doing.
"The Cooperation Agreement was truly ground-breaking and has delivered life-changing benefits to our children, families and friends all over Wales.
"Our core driver – independence for Wales – has broken the banks of mainstream politics and now many, from all parts and all parties, believe like we do that it is a matter of when and not if.
"My commitment to our vision of a nation transformed remains as strong as ever, and my energy for change undimmed.
"You have my personal assurance that I will continue to serve my country, my constituents and our party with determination and enthusiasm.”
Paying tribute to his service to the party as leader, Marc Jones the Chair of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru I want to thank Adam for his drive and vision over the past four and a half years. Adam’s personal commitment to making Wales a fairer nation is a lasting legacy of which he and Plaid Cymru can be proud.
“Through the Co-operation agreement, brokered and delivered by Adam, Plaid Cymru has been able to implement ground-breaking policies such as free school meals in primary schools, reforms that better protect our communities and we look forward to a stronger Senedd which better reflects our confident nation.
“As we begin the process of electing a new Leader our unwavering focus will be on implementing the recommendations of Project Pawb in order to foster a new culture within the party, making it a safe and inclusive member led movement for all."
The decision to step down comes a week after the publication of a damning report which said the party needed to 'detoxify'.
The review into the culture at Plaid Cymru has made 82 recommendations following reports late last year of a ‘toxic culture’ within the party.
The report, which was chaired by former Plaid Cymru politician, Nerys Evans, found that the party has failed to implement a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and that there needs to be a system to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace and within its membership.
The report added that staff say ‘They’ve seen too many instances of bad behaviour by elected members be tolerated and feel that there is little point in raising concerns.’
The Prosiect Pawb report goes on to say that ‘inaction over many years, from those with positions of power to challenge bad behaviour has made a bad situation even worse’.
The report added: “Evidence from a recent anonymous survey of staff and elected members highlight cases of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.
“These are not isolated cases. In the vast majority of cases of sexual harassment or bullying, the victim did not report it or make a formal complaint.
“From the evidence we have, the discrimination faced is mostly gender based.
“Some staff members felt unable to complete the survey for fear of being identified whilst others reflected a positive working environment.”
The report added: “NEC (National Executive Council) must be confident that actions taken in the light of Prosiect Pawb's findings and recommendations will be effective in enabling permanent, non- reversible measures to detoxify a culture of harassment, bullying and misogyny and to make Plaid truly and visibly welcoming to women.
“This requires a greater commitment than simply accepting the report's contents and passing them to a senior staff member to co-ordinate.”