- The members of the Central Committee of YesCymru have collectively resigned and stood down from their roles with immediate effect.
- The decision has not been made lightly, but is taken in the best interests of the organisation. Harassment directed towards Central Committee members, that goes far beyond social media posts, has taken an incredible toll on mental wellbeing and can no longer be tolerated.
- The announcement comes with the opportunity to enable a new Central Committee to be elected at a forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting, which will oversee the next stages of YesCymru’s development following the phenomenal growth and interest in the organisation since its launch.
- In order to safeguard the continuing operations of YesCymru until this new Central Committee is elected, an independent, third party firm of accountants has been instructed by the outgoing committee, prior to their resignations, to oversee limited day to day operations of the organisation. This includes oversight of finances, and will ensure the safe and prudent management of the affairs of YesCymru until a new Central Committee is in place.
- The outgoing Chair of the Central Committee, Sarah Rees, said: “The accountancy firm will focus on helping the Gweithgor and YesCymru staff to organise the forthcoming EGM and electing a new Central Committee. This decision has been taken in the best interests of the organisation and its members. It enables a totally clean break from the past and provides a clean start for the newly-elected Central Committee in the autumn, while protecting all the good that has been created.”
- She added: “YesCymru now has 18,000 members. It only officially launched five years ago. It is a fantastic success story, and testament to the hard work of ordinary members in growing the demand for Welsh independence. The decision taken today gives the new Central Committee, with the support of all 18,000 members, the opportunity to take YesCymru to the next level.”
- “I would encourage all members of YesCymru to attend the EGM and to vote for a new Central Committee which reflects the type of movement you want to be a part of - this is your chance to shape the direction of YesCymru for the better and we wish the new Central Committee every success.”
- For more information on the EGM please contact [email protected] Members looking to access information or have enquiries about their membership should contact [email protected]
- The outgoing Central Committee and YesCymru staff will be making no further comment at this time.
We on the Central Committee have been made aware of online behaviour that needed immediate action. As a result, we have reported these instances to the police and to the relevant online platforms while we investigate further.
In each case, if the accounts concerned are found to be members, then we will suspend their membership whilst the investigation takes place.
Following our amazing growth and successes over the last 18 months, we would like to make our members aware of a number of voices falsely claiming to support YesCymru and some falsely implying or claiming membership. Some of these may even say they are part of the wider independence movement.
We as the CC, as members, and as active groups should make every effort to discount these false voices whose intentions towards our movement are disingenuous and destructive.
We ask that each of us make every effort to question and validate information which is circulating and which we might receive second hand. This is a democratic campaign and democracy thrives in the light - please always be sure to confirm online information.
Our movement is for all the people of Cymru. YourCymru YesCymru. We will not tolerate intolerance.
There hasn't ever been a time (at least not since 1406!) when the dream of an independent Wales has seemed so tangible. The last year or so has seen an idea take hold that we can do this. We can stand on our own two feet and make a better go of it than what we are presently allowed, always at the mercy of decisions made far away from Wales, for the benefit of others or just forgotten about and ignored. For many people, YesCymru became a beacon of light, an organisation that crossed party political affiliations and encouraged a united approach.
Our movement encouraged many people who hadn't any history of political engagement to get involved and get active. For some that was becoming a member, or forming a branch at home or in work. Some of us decided to stand for the committee so that we could play a part in this historic process.
Our aim is to focus on developing grassroots activism, getting back out and speaking to communities, and organising by being a visible presence up and down our country. The achievement of the newspaper drop reminds us to continue to foster and grow that spirit of community activism.
People are really excited by Wales’ potential and are becoming engaged in being part of the future of Wales. So, it's only natural that everyone wants to bring their own thoughts and ideas forward about what they think that should look like and how they think we should get there.
We at the CC are talking to members and branches and doing our best to put measures into place that can ensure that members will have a chance to mould the shape of the movement.
The committee are volunteers and give their time and skills for free, with a shared aim of an independent Wales. Not everyone will agree with each other and we're trying to change the way we do things and bring the membership and CC together. But please, no one, committee member or wider membership should have to put up with abuse, innuendo, smears and personal attacks. There is a real sense of excitement and enthusiasm and members are impatient for the movement to move forwards, but it's important that we get it right.
We all want to ensure that YesCymru is open, fair, inclusive, and representative where we can have a constructive debate about the shape of a future Wales.
YC takes any allegations of breach of data very seriously and we are currently conducting an investigation into an allegation that was brought to our attention this morning.
While the investigation is being conducted we would ask everyone to refrain from repeating or sharing as yet unsubstantiated allegations.
This morning YesCymru's attention was drawn to a cartoon attacking a member of CC by a former service provider and member of YesCymru. We believe that this illustration repeats anti-semitic tropes and is designed to cause hurt to the CC member.
While YesCymru encourages debate and discussion amongst its members, supporters and the wider community, we cannot tolerate bullying, harassment or anti semitism and need to take action by suspending the member with immediate effect and withdrawing his work from our welcome pack while pending investigation.
YesCymru has been made aware of the targeted harassment of YesCymru central committee members and YesCymru staff, we as an organisation will not tolerate harassment or abuse directed at committee members and staff.
YesCymru has a duty of care, and responsibility for the wellbeing of our central committee members and staff, which we take very seriously.
YesCymru staff are employed to act on behalf of the elected central committee, staff do not make the democratic decisions, the central committee does. Therefore if a member wants to raise an issue or suggestion regarding the organisation, we advise them to do so via the correct channels, their elected committee members.
YesCymru committee members are elected to act on behalf of the members, and it is democratically correct and fair for members to ask them questions, and raise ideas. YesCymru has set up suitable avenues to do so, for more information see the ‘Get Involved’ section of the YesCymru website. Eg; we will soon be launching our first all-member online cafe, which any member can attend! We ask that all members use the relevant and appropriate channels to contact cc members.
YesCymru is one of Wales’ largest political organisations, and fastest growing political movements in the UK! We, as an organisation, recognise there will always be bad faith actors, and non YesCymru supporters attempting to undermine the organisation. As such, we ask that paid-up members use suitable channels and processes to contact central committee members, so we can suitably respond to your ideas and questions.
YesCymru Central Committee
A new poll has shown overwhelming support for giving more powers to the Senedd / Welsh Parliament.
In the survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of YesCymru, the campaign for an independent Wales, 59% of respondents who had a view, said they would support a “devo-max” option in a referendum.
The so-called devo-max option would see powers transferred from Westminster to the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff, including the right to control taxation and welfare in a move that stops just short of independence.
YesCymru Chair, Sion Jobbins, said:
“In light of Boris Johnson’s comments on devolution being ‘a mistake’ it really is time for the Welsh Government to get serious about what it wants to happen, and make its constitutional position clear. It’s clear the people of Wales value devolution, but with devolution being threatened by the Conservatives in Westminster, everyone in Wales needs to join together to protect our democracy.
“We have at least four more years of Johnson's Tories in Westminster. They’re chomping at the bit to scrap our Senedd. What is the Welsh Government going to do to protect and strengthen our parliament?
“The best way to protect the people of Wales is for Wales to take control of its own affairs by becoming an independent country. We would then be in the same position as the Irish Republic, where Westminster can't just get rid of the Irish parliament on a whim. That is not an option on the table at the moment, but it can be if we make it an issue in the May Senedd elections.
“We have had a huge surge in YesCymru members over the past few weeks, recently hitting 15,000 members, but it’s very telling that there has been no such surge in the membership of political parties. There is a huge appetite out there for change but people still don’t feel that the political parties are the best way to bring about that change. No one political party can take YesCymru supporters for granted.
“Of the two major unionist parties in Wales we only know where the Tories stand - they want to roll back devolution. Labour now needs to step up and make its constitutional position clear - waiting and hoping for a Labour win in Westminster in 2024 is not an option especially as the Tories are planning to get rid of 20% of Welsh seats and Scotland will probably have left Westminster by then.”
There was support for increasing the powers of the Senedd through devo-max in all regions of Wales, with 64% of respondents who had a view in Cardiff and south central Wales backing the move, the highest level of support in the country.
There was also huge support for devo-max from younger respondents with 82% of respondents aged 18-24 who had a view saying they would vote for Wales to have more powers.
The question asked was: "If there was a referendum tomorrow on the transferring of more powers to the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), including control of tax and welfare, but excluding defence and foreign affairs, how would you vote? Should more powers be transferred to the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)?
18-24 - YES 82%
25-49 - YES 73%
50-64 - YES 51%
65+ - YES 43%
Cardiff and South Central - YES 64%
South East - YES 63%
Mid and West - YES 61%
North - YES 53%
South West - YES 52%
At the start of the year YesCymru's membership stood at around 2,500, but a combination of factors has seen the campaign for Welsh independence gain momentum. Membership had more than trebled to over 8,000 by mid October, and has now nearly doubled once again to over 15,000 paid members in 3 weeks.
Siôn Jobbins, YesCymru Chair, welcomed the new members, he said: “This is fantastic news! YesCymru is determined to create a welcoming, colourful and progressive mass movement for independence. We believe that there will be a referendum on Scottish independence in the coming years, followed by the reunification of Ireland, what then for Wales?"
"Due to Westminster’s handling of COVID-19, the people of Wales are seeing that they and the Senedd can do a better job of looking after our interests than Westminter."
"When the Senedd has ignored Westminster and put the interests of Wales first, they have done things better. The two week lockdown in Wales, which was difficult and stressful for us all, was mocked by Westminster and sections of the UK media. But now the Wrestminster Government has had to lock England down, and for longer. Where Wales leads, others follow."
"But devolution isn’t enough. We need independence."
"Westminster is rolling back devolution. In the Internal Market Bill – a boring document which we in Wales 'need not worry about' – Westminster has taken away powers from our Senedd, powers we in Wales have voted for in not one but two referendums."
"Westminster is incompetent. We’ve seen the UK Government in London give contracts worth billions to their friends, with money paid upfront to brand new companies to deliver PPE which doesn’t work. Some £12bn – more than the entire health budget in Wales – is being wasted on a privatised track and trace system that barely works!"
"Westminster doesn’t care about Wales. During our lockdown, The First Minister asked the UK Government for money, which the Welsh Government even promised to pay back, to support our businesses and our people. Westminster said “NO”. When Johnson announced the English Lockdown, suddenly the ‘magic money tree’ began blooming!"
"Our new members are already adding a massive boost to the movement. Our members are vibrant and passionate in their determination to build a new Wales that looks after all of its people."
"2021 is going to be a very interesting year in the history of Wales, and it will be onwards and upwards for YesCymru and the campaign for an independent Wales.”
YesCymru, the campaign for an independent Wales, has seen a huge increase in support this year, recently hitting 8,000 members, up from around 2,500 at the start of the year.
Sion Jobbins, YesCymru Chair, welcomed the new members, he said: “This is fantastic news! These new members are already adding a massive boost to the movement. Our members are vibrant and passionate in their determination to build a new Wales that looks after all of its people.
“What has helped speed the growth of YesCymru, is that people have seen that the Senedd in Wales is much more competent at running Wales’ affairs than Westminster, and we can do so with more empathy and compassion as well.
“Traditional campaigning has not been possible this year, with the cancellation of three large independence marches in Wrexham, Swansea and Tredegar due to Covid-19, but our members are bright and innovative and we are already seeing new ways of convincing others of the need for independence. 2021 is going to be a very interesting year in the history of Wales, and it will be onwards and upwards for YesCymru and an independent Wales.”