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Edwards to step down: Plaid MP not standing for re-election



IN a heartfelt announcement, Jonathan Edwards, the long-standing MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, has declared that he will not be standing in the next General Election on July 4. Mr Edwards, who was first elected in 2010, leaves a legacy as the only politician to win four consecutive elections and as the longest-serving Parliamentarian in the constituency’s history.

Reflecting on his career, Mr Edwards expressed immense gratitude and pride for his tenure. “Serving my home communities has been the most incredible honour and privilege,” he said. “I hope the people of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr will feel that I have done the job to the best of my ability, with integrity and for the right reasons.”

Throughout his time in office, Mr Edwards championed significant policy changes, notably leading the charge to scrap the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy Scheme in Wales. This move has saved Welsh Councils an estimated £100 million per annum, enabling the construction of new Council houses for the first time in years. “I feel an enormous sense of pride when I see new Council houses being built in Carmarthenshire,” he remarked.

Additionally, Mr Edwards was instrumental in uncovering financial losses to Wales due to HS2 and other Barnett Formula disparities. He also made the case for a Wales-specific Public Sector Pension investment fund and secured one of the first Levelling Up bids in the UK for the Tywi Valley Cycle path between Llandeilo and Carmarthen.

However, in May 2020, Mr Edwards accepted a police caution for assaulting his wife, leading to a suspension from his party, Plaid Cymru. The incident drew significant public and political scrutiny. After being re-instated two years later, his then-wife, Emma, expressed her dismay, stating that Plaid Cymru’s decision sent a message that “survivors of domestic abuse don’t matter.”

The controversy surrounding his membership led to a public row, with former Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price asking him to leave the party. Mr Edwards eventually quit Plaid Cymru but considered running as an independent candidate against his former party. On Tuesday, however, he announced that after “deep reflection,” he had decided it was time for him to step down.

As he looks to the future, Mr Edwards is eager to spend more time with his family and engage with the community in a non-political capacity. “I am now looking towards the future with my beautiful children who bring joy to everyone they encounter; I can’t wait to spend more time with them having lost out on so much of their early years,” he shared.

He also paid tribute to his partner, Fflur, expressing his excitement for their future together. “And to my amazing partner in Fflur who gives me faith that the future will be one full of love and happiness. I have much to look forward to,” he added.

Emphasising his deep roots in the community, Mr Edwards fondly recalled playing cricket for the Ammanford Wildboars Centurions Cricket Team. “The anthracite grey of the Amman Valley runs deep in my blood,” he said, reflecting on his commitment to local sports teams and his role in coaching the Under 10 cricket team. “It astounds me how quickly the players are developing.”

One of the proudest moments of his career was being asked to become the Honorary Vice President of Ammanford RFC, a testament to his close ties with the community. “The people of the Amman Valley have stuck by me through thick and thin and I am proud to be one of you,” he said, expressing his deep gratitude to his constituents.

In closing, Mr Edwards wished his successor well and looked forward to returning home. “Politics is a tough and all-encompassing occupation and I genuinely wish my successor well. For myself, I can’t wait to be home where I belong.”

Jonathan Edwards leaves behind a notable legacy in Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, marked by significant policy achievements and a heartfelt commitment to his community. His departure from Westminster marks the end of an era, but his impact will be felt for years to come.

Fill list of Caerfyrddin constituency candidates

  • Ann Davies – Plaid Cymru
  • Martha O’Neil – Welsh Labour
  • Simon Hart – Welsh Conservatives
  • Nick Beckett – Welsh Liberal Democrats
  • Bernard Holton – Reform UK


West Wales firm fined £75,000 after man killed by escaped cow



A WEST WALES company has been fined £75,000 following the death of a 75-year-old man, Huw Evans, who was killed by a cow that had escaped from a livestock market. The incident occurred on November 19, 2022, at Whitland Livestock Market in Carmarthenshire, operated by J.J. Morris Limited.

Father-of-two Mr Evans was crossing the junction at North Road and West Street in Whitland when the cow, which was being auctioned, escaped from the market pen. The animal attacked Mr Evans, knocking him down and trampling him. He suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales, where he succumbed to his injuries six days later.

A worker from J.J. Morris Limited was also injured during an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the cow. The cow eventually made its way towards Whitland Rugby Club and a railway line before being subdued and put down by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident and found that J.J. Morris Limited had failed to implement essential physical control measures to prevent cattle from escaping. The HSE concluded that the company’s risk assessment was inadequate, referencing control measures that were not in place at the market.

J.J. Morris Limited, based in Haverfordwest, admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £5,047.55 in costs by Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, June 20.

In court, Mr Evans’ son, Dafydd, expressed his grief, saying: “Dad was my best friend, and I miss him terribly. He was taken from us too soon. Losing dad has had a tremendous effect on both myself and my brother. Because of this incident, dad’s grandsons will never fully know him personally, and he will not see them grow up.”

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Rhys Hughes remarked, “This tragic incident was foreseeable and preventable. The risk posed by cattle escaping from the livestock mart should have been identified, and effective control measures implemented. The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance, which is readily accessible and outlines the requirements to safely manage cattle.”

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Wales international Johnny Williams signs new Scarlets contract



THE SCARLETS said this week that they are delighted to announce that Wales international centre Johnny Williams has signed a new contract with the club.

The 27-year-old joined the Scarlets from Newcastle Falcons in 2020 and after just four appearances earned his first Wales cap, against Georgia in Llanelli.

A powerful-carrying presence in the Scarlets midfield, he has since made 46 appearances, scoring six tries, including a memorable interception in last season’s Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Clermont Auvergne.

He has won seven caps for Wales, featuring at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Johnny has been a key member of the side in recent years. He’s a player who is a dynamic carrier, is physical with and without the ball, has a good skill set and has an impact on every game he’s involved in.

“He is an important cog in how we look to play and it’s fantastic that he has agreed a new contract with the club. I know the fans will be thrilled with this news and, along with the likes of Eddie James, Joe Roberts and with Macs Page coming through, we have a lot of talent in that midfield pool for the coming years.”

Johnny Williams said: “I am delighted to have signed a new contract. It has been a frustrating season in terms of results, but I am excited by the potential of the squad we are putting together.

“A lot of young boys have put their hands up and we showed during the final few games of the season the kind of rugby we can produce.

“Pre-season will be around before we know it and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, ready for a big start to next season.”

Johnny is the latest player to recommit to the Scarlets ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, following Tonga lock Sam Lousi, Wales internationals Tom Rogers and Harri O’Connor and back-rowers Dan Davis and Ben Williams.

Scarlets have also strengthened their squad with the addition of hooker Marnus van der Merwe (Toyota Cheetahs), prop Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), full-back Ellis Mee (Nottingham), lock Max Douglas (Toyota Canon Eagles), Wales international prop Henry Thomas (Castres Olympique) and back-three player Blair Murray (Canterbury).

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Tata workers call first strikes in 40 years to stop steel destruction



HISTORIC strikes in Port Talbot as Labour vows emergency talks with Tata after general election

Around 1,500 Tata workers based in Port Talbot and Llanwern will begin all-out indefinite strike action over the company’s plans to cut 2,800 jobs and close its blast furnaces.

The strike action, which begins on 8 July, will severely impact Tata’s UK operations. It is the first time in over 40 years that steel workers in the UK have taken strike action.

The escalation in industrial action comes after the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, began working to rule and an overtime ban on Tuesday (June 17).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Tata’s workers are not just fighting for their jobs – they are fighting for the future of their communities and the future of steel in Wales.

“Our members will not standby while this immensely wealthy conglomerate tries to throw Port Talbot and Llanwern on the scrapheap so it can boost its operations abroad. They know South Wales is ideally placed to take advantage of the coming boom in green steel – if the right choices are made.

“The strikes will go on until Tata halts its disastrous plans. Unite is backing Tata’s workers to the hilt in their historic battle to save the Welsh steel industry and give it the bright future it deserves.”

Labour has called for Tata to halt its plans and wait until after the general election to engage in talks with the government, saying there is a ‘better deal to do’. Labour has pledged £3 billion for UK steel if elected next month, a commitment secured by Unite. Labour has also made emergency talks with Tata a priority if it wins the election.

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