Wales politics

Neil McEvoy hearing barrister had bullying suspension

Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards and Neil McEvoy
Image caption Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards and Neil McEvoy

A Plaid Cymru politician suspended for bullying used a barrister at his tribunal he knew had previously been found to have sexually harassed and bullied a female clerk in his chambers, it has emerged.

Neil McEvoy's counsel, Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards, was suspended for four months in 2013.

Councillor and AM Mr McEvoy previously said "I call out any abuse that I see".

On Wednesday, he said Mr Edwards's past had "no bearing" on his case.

Mr McEvoy was suspended from being a Cardiff councillor for a month on Friday, after the Adjudication Panel for Wales tribunal found a comment he made amounted to "bullying behaviour" towards a council officer.

Mr McEvoy called the tribunal proceedings a "farce".

The South Wales Central AM was later suspended from Plaid Cymru's assembly group as a party inquiry into his conduct continued.

On his decision to instruct Mr Mendus Edwards, Mr McEvoy told BBC Wales: "Jonathan's work has been pro-bono, meaning I have not employed him.

"Mr Edwards's past is a matter for him and has no bearing on my case. He is a legal barrister, permitted to practice."

Mr Mendus Edwards said his client knew the facts shortly before his tribunal hearing.

Image caption Neil McEvoy asking a question in the Senedd on Wednesday

Referring to his own disciplinary matter, he said: "The facts included a miscarriage of justice in that my own barrister failed to attend my trial.

"He was disciplined for causing me prejudice. No one should have to represent themselves, but they made me do it. It is difficult to fight cases given our complaints culture.

"I support my three daughters in everything they do. And my wife supports me."

Mr Mendus Edwards stood for Plaid Cymru in Gower in the 1983 general election.

Plaid Cymru did not want to comment.

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