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Plaid Cymru MEP under fire

Yesterday’s Western Mail reports that Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has come under fire after it emerged she has spoken in full sessions of the European Parliament only four times in the last two years.

And while she has spoken 13 times to European Parliament plenary sessions in Strasbourg since June 2009, by comparison her fellow Welsh MEPs have each made between 187 and 227 contributions:

Statistics compiled by a political source who wishes to remain anonymous, but which have been verified by the Western Mail, also show not one of 44 parliamentary questions she has asked since being re-elected for her third term in 2009 specifically mentions Wales

Of the 44 questions, 13 relate to Palestine/ Israel and a further 12 to the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony in Africa that was subsequently occupied by Morocco and has been seeking independence for decades.

Other questions asked by Ms Evans relate to the Basque country, a Portuguese quarry, Eritrean refugees in Sinai, financial support to Frisian language theatre, the regeneration of Portman Bay in Murcia, Spain and a German bank.

One question concerns the plight of the Chagossians, islanders from a British Indian Ocean territory who were removed from their homes by the UK Government between 1968 and 1973 to make way for a United States air and naval base.

Meanwhile, during the same time Ms Evans spoke 13 times to European Parliament plenary sessions, John Bufton, the UKIP MEP for Wales, contributed on 227 occasions, Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan 217 times and Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne 187 times.

A time analysis of Ms Evans’ contributions shows that in 2011 she spoke just once – about the Middle East peace process – while her three contributions this year related to a European Council meeting, the preparation for an informal European summit on investment, growth and jobs, and a trade protocol between Europe and Israel.

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