Plaid’s Ron Davies demands police investigation after MP removes election placards
Ron Davies, Plaid’s Caerphilly Assembly candidate, has demanded a police investigation after Caerphilly Labour MP Wayne David removed Plaid election placards from residents’ gardens.
Mr David took the placards down with the Labour MP seen by Plaid party members with some in his Audi car. The MP has stressed that the placards were removed with the explicit permission of residents.
Former Welsh Secretary Mr Davies, who share’s an intense rivalry with Labour candidate Jeff Cuthbert, said: “There needs to be a thorough police investigation. I cannot believe that a Member of Parliament can behave like this, particularly after the MPs’ expenses scandal.
“We have three separate witnesses who will say they saw him with Plaid posters and we have lost around 50 in the Caerphilly area since the election campaign started. Indeed one voter in Ystrad Mynach told Wayne David she had given consent and wanted the Plaid poster to remain but he walked off with it anyway.
“I know Labour is getting desperate but to revert to dirty tricks like this is totally unacceptable, particularly from an MP.”
Mr David in Tuesday’s Western Mail said: “There has been a disproportionately large number of Plaid stakes put up in the Rhymney Valley and we have had reports that Plaid have been putting them up in gardens without permission from residents.
“We have also been knocking at the doors of people with Plaid placards who our records tell us are Labour supporters, asking whether they have any political issues. In some cases people are happy for us to take the placards away. We have only taken them away with their consent.”
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer, Mr David, the Shadow Minister for Europe, said the whole issue was “Plaid fabrication and lies”.
He said: “The stakes that have been removed, have been removed at the explicit request by the residents concerned and they agreed to the removal.
“There is no question of illegality whatsoever.” Mr David added that he had been in touch with Gwent Police about the incident but that it was a conversation initiated by him.
He continued: “This is typical of Ron Davies with dirty tricks and him not prepared to fight politically. It’s as we expected – a dirty election campaign by someone who plays dirty.”
Mr David also revealed that he had made a complaint to the Electoral Commission after a Plaid activist took a photograph of him in his car with a Plaid placard.
He said: “On Sunday he attempted to take photographs of me in my car after having flagged me down. He leaned across me and kept the car door open taking photographs of me with a Plaid stake, which a resident had approved for me to take away from their property.”
Ron Davies said: “I have been told that Wayne David is suggesting that Labour voters ‘allowed’ Plaid posters in their gardens without their consent.
“That is ludicrous. Under no circumstances did the MP have the right to take possession of any material not belonging to him? If the MP was concerned, he should have contacted the Election Returning Officer or the Plaid election agent.
“Wayne David’s claim that voters asked him to take down the stakes needs to be thoroughly tested by the police, and he should provide them with a list of properties where they were taken from so they can speak to residents.
“All Plaid agents are under strict instructions to gain prior consent before erecting stakes in people’s homes.”