Neil McEvoy AM has slammed the Public Ombudsman for Wales’ investigation into him as a “political show trial” that includes members appointed by the Labour Welsh Government.
Mr McEvoy will come before an Adjudication Panel at Cardiff Magistrates Court on Thursday the 2nd of March.
The BBC revealed that the case being brought before Mr McEvoy relates to a comment heard by a Cardiff Council worker in 2015. After a court case, where Mr McEvoy was defending a single mother being evicted by the Labour-run Cardiff Council as a result of the Bedroom Tax, Mr McEvoy was heard saying "I can't wait until May 2017 when the restructure of the council happens."
Mr McEvoy doesn’t dispute that he made this statement, but he has fully rejected the accusation that making this comment brought the Council into disrepute.
It is understood that the Adjudication Panel could prevent Mr McEvoy from standing in the upcoming Council elections in May.
Speaking ahead of the Magistrates hearing, Mr McEvoy said:
“This is nothing more than a politically motivated trial. The complaint was made by a Labour politician. The Ombudsman, who was in business with a Labour Minister referred the matter to the Panel; the people on the Panel judging me were appointed by Labour politicians. These are the facts of the matter. There is a huge democratic deficit in Wales. We effectively live in a one Party state.
“I have not brought the Council into disrepute. What I have done is defend a single mother who was being evicted as a result of the hated bedroom tax.
“Restructuring the Council to stop these evictions has been Cardiff Plaid’s policy since 2012 and has featured in every Cardiff Plaid budget proposal since 2013.
“This trial is an attack on democracy. The Adjudication Panel is appointed by Labour Ministers. The Ombudsman himself used to lobby on behalf of tobacco companies through a business with a current Labour Minister. It’s impossible for me to get a fair trial with these people involved. I haven’t been able to call the witnesses I want and the Ombudsman has refused a full disclosure of emails relating to the case. What is he hiding?
“This sham trial, initiated by the Ombudsman after he was contacted by a Labour Councillor, has brought the office of Ombudsman into disrepute. And Cardiff Council insisting on evicting single mothers who struggle to pay their rent has brought the Council into disrepute.
“I will never stop defending my constituents and if Cardiff Plaid run the Council after May the 4th we will restructure it to make sure that no vulnerable parents and their children are even thrown out of their home again, as a result of the bedroom tax. We make no apology for standing up for people and doing what is right.”
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