Simon Thomas (politician)

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Simon Thomas
Simon Thomas AM (28066512752).jpg
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Mid and West Wales
In office
6 May 2011 – 25 July 2018
Preceded by Nerys Evans
Succeeded by Helen Mary Jones
Member of Parliament
for Ceredigion
In office
4 February 2000 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by Cynog Dafis
Succeeded by Mark Williams
Personal details
Born (1963-12-28) 28 December 1963 (age 54)
Nationality Welsh
Political party Plaid Cymru (until 2018)
None (2018-)

Simon George Thomas[1] (born 28 December 1963) is a Welsh former politician who was a member of Plaid Cymru.[2] He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Ceredigion from 2000 to 2005, and a Assembly Member in the National Assembly for Wales representing Mid and West Wales between 2011 and 2018.

He resigned as an Assembly Member and his party membership on 25 July 2018, following arrest by police on suspicion of possession of indecent images.[3] On 3 October 2018, he pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.[4]

Early life[edit]

He went to Aberdare Boys' Grammar School (became Aberdare Boys' Comprehensive School in 1978).[5] At the University of College Wales, Aberystwyth, he gained a BA in Welsh in 1985. He gained a Postgraduate diploma from the College of Librarianship Wales (CLW) in Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth in 1988 (College became part of the university in 1989).[6]

He was assistant curator for the National Library of Wales from 1986-92. From 1992-4, he was Policy and Research Officer for the Taff-Ely borough council. From 1994-2000, he was Rural Development Manager for the JIGSO rural development agency.

Thomas is the father of two children.[4] At the time of his trial, he lived in Penparcau, a village south of Aberystwyth.[4]

Political career[edit]

Thomas was elected as a Councillor in Ceredigion County Council for Aberystwyth East in 1999 and resigned after being elected a Member of Parliament. He was fifth on Plaid Cymru's regional list for Mid and West Wales in the inaugural National Assembly for Wales election in 1999; only list leader Cynog Dafis was elected.[7]

Thomas was first elected as MP for Ceredigion in the 2000 by-election after Dafis stepped down to focus on his role as an Assembly member.[8] He retained the seat for Plaid Cymru at the 2001 election with a reduced majority, and lost it in the 2005 general election to Mark Williams of the Liberal Democrats.[9] During the 2005 general election he wrote a blog on the Channel 4 News website which shows a near daily account of his campaign trail and his thoughts following his defeat.[10]

After the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, Simon Thomas was appointed a special adviser to the Plaid Cymru ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government coalition between his party and Labour.

In September 2010, Simon Thomas was placed at the top of Plaid Cymru's regional list for Mid and West Wales in the 2011 Welsh Assembly election with the incumbent Nerys Evans instead running for the constituency seat of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.[11] He was elected to the National Assembly for Wales.[12]

When a party leadership election was triggered by the resignation of Ieuan Wyn Jones, Thomas announced his candidacy on 1 December 2011.[13] The following 6 February, he withdrew in favour of Elin Jones, running to become her deputy leader.[14] The election was won by Leanne Wood.[15]

In the 2016 Assembly Election, he also contested the constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, coming third as Angela Burns retained it for the Conservatives.[16]

Arrest and resignation[edit]

On 25 July 2018 he resigned as an AM and from Plaid Cymru following his arrest by police on suspicion of possession of indecent images.[3] His seat was taken by Helen Mary Jones, who was next in line on Plaid's regional list.[17]

On 18 September he was charged by Dyfed-Powys Police with three counts of making indecent images of children.[18]

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court on 3 October 2018, having made over 600 such images and videos.[4] He was bailed to appear before Mold Magistrates' Court on 31 October.[4]

Electoral performance[edit]

Thomas contested several elections under the Plaid Cymru banner:

National Assembly Regional Seats

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % of votes Result
1999 Welsh Assembly election Mid and West Wales Plaid Cymru 84,554 38.5 Not elected[7]
2011 Welsh Assembly election Mid and West Wales Plaid Cymru 56,384 26.7 Elected[19]
2016 Welsh Assembly election Mid and West Wales Plaid Cymru 56,754 26.3 Elected[20]

National Assembly Constituency Seats

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % of votes Result
2016 Welsh Assembly election Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Plaid Cymru 5,459 18.7 Not elected[16]


Westminister Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % of votes Result
by-election in February 2000 Ceredigion Plaid Cymru 10,716 42.8 Elected[8]
2001 election Ceredigion Plaid Cymru 13,241 38.3 Elected[21]
2005 election Ceredigion Plaid Cymru 12,911 35.9 Defeated[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former AM Simon Thomas pleads guilty to making indecent images of children". Cambrian News. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Former Plaid Cymru politician Simon Thomas charged with making indecent images of children". ITV News. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas quits after indecent images arrest". BBC News. 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Batchelor, Tom (3 October 2018). "Former Plaid Cymru MP Simon Thomas admits to making more than 600 indecent images of children". The Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  5. ^ "So who are you Simon Thomas". Wales Online. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Alumni at the Senedd". Aberystwyth University. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b "National Assembly for Wales". Demon. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b "'Fair play' won by-election say Plaid". BBC News. 4 February 2000. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Lib Dems win Cardiff, Ceredigion". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion". Channel 4 News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Dewis cyn-AS yn ymgeisydd cynulliad" (in Welsh). Golwg 360. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Welsh Tory leader Nick Bourne loses regional seat". BBC News. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Simon Thomas enters race to become next leader of Plaid Cymru". Wales Online. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Plaid Cymru: Simon Thomas pulls out of leadership race". BBC. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  15. ^ "Plaid Cymru elect Leanne Wood as new leader". BBC News. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Election results for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Helen Mary Jones returns as Plaid AM, replacing Simon Thomas". BBC News. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Former Plaid Cymru politician Simon Thomas charged with making indecent images of children". ITV News. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Election results for Mid and West Wales". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Election results for Mid and West Wales". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Ceredigion". BBC News. Retrieved 24 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cynog Dafis
Member of Parliament for Ceredigion
20002005
Succeeded by
Mark Williams
National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
Nerys Evans
Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales
2011–2018
Succeeded by
Helen Mary Jones
Political offices
Preceded by
Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy and Rural Affairs
2016 – 2018
Succeeded by
TBD