|Member of the Welsh Assembly
for South Wales West Region
3 May 2007
|Preceded by||Janet Davies|
9 December 1981 |
|Political party||Plaid Cymru|
|Alma mater||Aberystwyth University|
Bethan Jenkins AM (born 9 December 1981), is a Welsh politician, born in Aberdare, Wales, who has represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2007.
Early life and education
Jenkins is the daughter of poet Mike Jenkins, the winner of the Welsh Book of The Year in 1998. She grew up in Merthyr Tydfil, where both her parents were involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement of the 1980s and early 1990s. Her brother is the Channel 4 News reporter Ciaran Jenkins.
She was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, near Pontypridd. She then studied International Politics and International History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Through student politics, she was elected to the Aberystwyth Guild of Students executive, and was serving as Guild President by 2004. With the organisation Cymru X she has served as a national organiser of the party’s youth wing.
National Assembly of Wales
In 2006, Jenkins was selected as Plaid Cymru's lead candidate for the South West Wales Regional list and was duly elected in the subsequent elections of May 2007. Jenkins was initially Plaid Cymru's Child Poverty and Culture Spokesperson for the Plaid Cymru group at the National Assembly, and sat on the Communities and Culture committee, Audit committee, and the newly formed Petitions Committee.
In 2012, Jenkins was appointed Plaid's spokesperson for Heritage, Welsh language and Sport. She is chairperson for the Assembly's Cross Party Eating Disorder Group, and formed a new cross party group on human rights. Jenkins has been an outspoken Republican. Alongside her Plaid Cymru colleague, Leanne Wood, she is a member of the group Republic.
In June 2012, Jenkins became embroiled in a row about her comments on social networking site Twitter, in light of the meeting between Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Queen Elizabeth II at a charity reception. After Welsh Labour members highlighted the comments, Jenkins said that she was appalled at being accused of "trying to destabilise" the peace process, and that she was giving up Twitter for the time being.
Early in the hours of Sunday 14 October 2012, Jenkins was arrested by South Wales Police in Llandaff, Cardiff for driving erratically. When tested, she was more than twice the legal limit, but was released on police bail without a charge for drink driving. Jenkins subsequently issued a statement, stating that there were "no excuses" for what she had done, and that she had resigned her position as Plaid's spokeswoman on heritage, the Welsh language and sport. Her statement also stated that she had been receiving professional medical help for depression. On Monday 15 October, Jenkins was suspended from the Plaid group of AMs "while the process of justice takes its course". On 12 November 2012, Bethan was charged with drunk driving, and on 19 December was banned from driving for 20 months.
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- "More must be done to help patients with eating disorders in Wales, says cross-party group". WalesOnline. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "AM quits Twitter in McGuinness Queen row". ITV. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood attacked over Welsh republican meeting". WalesOnline. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Bethan Jenkins AM takes break from Twitter after McGuinness-Queen row". BBC Wales. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins arrested for drink driving". BBC Wales. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins charged with drink-driving". BBC News. 12 November 2012.
|National Assembly for Wales|
|Assembly Member for South Wales West
Laura Anne Jones
|Baby of the House
|Shadow Minister for Housing, Poverty, Communities & Steel
2016 – present