Neil McEvoy

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Cllr
Neil McEvoy
AM
Neil McEvoy AM (28092346611).jpg
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for South Wales Central
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded by Leanne Wood
Personal details
Political party Labour - 2003
Plaid Cymru 2003 [1]
(However sits as an Independent Welsh Nationalist in the National Assembly) [2]

Neil McEvoy is a Welsh politician who has represented the South Wales Central region at the National Assembly for Wales since 2016.[3] He was elected as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales having been on Plaid Cymru's regional list, under the National Assembly's Additional Member System.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Cardiff, his father's family have both English and Irish heritage, whilst his mother's father came to Cardiff from Yemen. McEvoy trained as a teacher of modern languages,[5] He lives in Cardiff with his wife Ceri [6]

Political career[edit]

McEvoy was elected as Labour Councillor for Riverside in 1999[7] and later became vice-chair of the Labour council group, he defected to Plaid Cymru in 2003.[8] He lost his seat in Riverside in 2004 [7] but was elected in 2008 in the Fairwater ward.[5] He then became Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council between 2008-2012 under a Liberal Democrat-Plaid Cymru coalition.[9] In 2012 he was re-elected to represent Fairwater.

In September 2012, despite Plaid's decision not to put forward any candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner elections, McEvoy said that he wanted to stand for the PCC for South Wales Police.[10] McEvoy did not stand, Plaid did not put forward a candidate, and subsequently former MP Alun Michael won the position for Welsh Labour.

McEvoy also stood as a constituency candidate for Cardiff West in the 2016 Assembly election, increasing Plaid Cymru's vote by 11.9% and reducing Mark Drakeford (Labour)'s majority to 1,176 votes,[11] from 5,901 in 2011 and beating the Conservatives to second place.[12]

In the run-up to the 2017 Cardiff Council elections, Wales Online described McEvoy as "arguably the most divisive frontline elected politician in Wales right now" who, despite being "at the forefront of an unprecedented growth of Plaid support and membership in Cardiff" had a "sometimes difficult relationship" with his adopted party, Plaid Cymru.[13]

McEvoy has supported continuation of the right-to-buy scheme in Wales, contrary to the policy of Plaid Cymru.[14] He has also expressed his opposition to Welsh Government plans to ban the smacking of children. [15]

Controversies[edit]

In November 2011, in a Facebook post, McEvoy accused Welsh Women's Aid of "publicly funded child abuse" and claimed they supported women in breaking court orders on fathers' access to children.[16] He was subsequently suspended by Plaid Cymru, and after investigation was allowed to return after making an apology for the words he used, although not the allegations.[9]

In Council elections in May 2011, Welsh Labour ward opponent Michael Michael distributed leaflets of Only Fools and Horses character Del Boy with McEvoy's face imposed on them. McEvoy subsequently sued Michael for libel, but withdrew from the case in December 2015. In January 2016, McEvoy agreed to the courts wishes to pay Michael £120,000 in legal costs: a quarter of the cost of the preliminary issues; and all costs after April 2013.[17] McEvoy paid an initial sum of £50,000, and agreed a payment plan with Michael and his lawyers, which resulted in Michael having a legal charge imposed on McEvoy's home.[17]

In 2012, while a councillor, he presented a petition in the Welsh language, resulting in an argument with representatives of other parties. Despite protests, Councillor McEvoy declined to speak in English at the council meeting.[18]

After being elected to the Senedd in May 2016, McEvoy kept his position as a councillor on Cardiff Council, receiving the councillor's basic allowance of £13,300 in addition to the Senedd salary of £64,000. His Labour Party opponents described this as hypocrisy, saying that he had previously said it was wrong for people in public office to be a councillor and to work in another job.[19]

In March 2017 a Cardiff Council tribunal found a comment that McEvoy made to a council officer after a tenant's eviction hearing in 2015 amounted to "bullying behaviour".[20] The Adjudication Panel for Wales ruled he broke Cardiff council's code of conduct but did not bring the council into disrepute. After the hearing, Mr McEvoy described the panel proceedings as a "farce" but Plaid chairman Alun Ffred Jones said the matter was "serious because it involves bullying".[21] McEvoy was subsequently suspended from the Plaid Cymru Senedd group on 7 March 2017[20] and reinstated two weeks later.[22] A Plaid Cymru disciplinary panel was to consider the complaints later in the Autumn.[23]

In September 2017, McEvoy was suspended again, after a unanimous decision by Plaid's Assembly group, following accusations that he had undermined Plaid Cymru's policy on council housing.[24] In January 2018 he was expelled from the Plaid Cymru group in the Welsh Assembly, with a spokesperson stating that "His ongoing behaviour has left assembly member colleagues feeling undermined and demoralised".[2] He currently sits as an Independent Welsh Nationalist.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.jomec.co.uk/intercardiff/social-justice/plaids-man-in-cardiff-neil-mcevoys-political-journey
  2. ^ a b "Neil McEvoy expelled from Plaid Cymru assembly group". BBC. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Welsh Election 2016: Labour just short as UKIP wins seats". BBC Wales News. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Plaid Cymru leader Wood in narrow win to top party list". BBC Wales News. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b http://www.cardiffplaid.wales/neil_mcevoy
  6. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/who-neil-mcevoy-plaid-politician-12901511
  7. ^ a b http://www.electionscentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Cardiff-1995-2012.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2002-03/1917
  9. ^ a b https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/uk-wales-politics-16006976
  10. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/neil-mcevoy-says-wants-stand-2023572
  11. ^ "Wales elections > Cardiff West". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Wales elections > Cardiff West". BBC News. 6 May 2011.
  13. ^ Ruth Mosalski (16 April 2017). "Who is Neil McEvoy, the Plaid politician who thinks he can be the next leader of Cardiff council?". Wales Online. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  14. ^ David Deans (13 September 2017) "Plaid Cymru AMs McEvoy and Jenkins in right-to-buy row", BBC News.
  15. ^ https://twitter.com/neiljmcevoy/status/818534334290391042
  16. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15947940
  17. ^ a b Martin Shipton (1 January 2016). "Cardiff councillor faces £120k bill and a legal charge on his home after withdrawing a libel case". Wales Online. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Welsh language row between Fairwater councillors over footbridge petition". Cardiff Council. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  19. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-assembly-member-neil-mcevoy-11352894
  20. ^ a b "Neil McEvoy suspended from Plaid Cymru Senedd group". BBC News. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Plaid conference: Suspended councillor Neil McEvoy to speak > Wales Politics". BBC News. 4 March 2017.
  22. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/neil-mcevoy-apologised-council-officer-12773408
  23. ^ James Williams (14 September 2017). "Neil McEvoy complaints before Plaid Cymru disciplinary panel". BBC News. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Neil McEvoy suspended from Plaid Cymru group again". BBC News. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  25. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-politics-42718363/neil-mcevoy-claims-unanimous-support-to-be-plaid-cymru-am

External links[edit]

National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
Leanne Wood
Assembly Member for South Wales Central
2016 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent