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Regional AM quits amid police investigation

Created on 26/07/2018 @ 13:23
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An Assembly Member representing Mid and West Wales has quit after it was revealed he is being investigated for possessing indecent images.

Simon Thomas, the Plaid Cymru Mid and West Wales AM has been arrested by police investigating the allegations with the 54-year-old married father-of-two, also quit the party.

Mr Thomas, who was MP for Ceredigion between 2000 and 2005, has deleted his Twitter page and personal website.

Dyfed-Powys Police said an “individual from Aberystwyth” had been released on bail for 28 days.

A statement from the force said an arrest had been made “on suspicion of possessing indecent images”.

The assembly's Presiding Officer Elin Jones confirmed Mr Thomas's resignation in a statement on Wednesday, saying "the Llywydd has received a letter of resignation from Simon Thomas with immediate effect".

Plaid Cymru chairman Alun Ffred Jones said the party was “aware of a police investigation into allegations of a serious offence”.

He added: “Due to that ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Mr Thomas, a former librarian who lives in Aberystwyth, was a special senior advisor to former deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones after losing his seat at Westminster and before he was elected to the assembly.

He was also a contender to succeed Mr Jones as party leader in 2012, but dropped out of the contest which was won by Leanne Wood.

The resignation of Mr Thomas will not trigger a by-election as he was elected via the regional list system, where voters choose a party rather than a specific candidate.

When a regional AM resigns, they are usually succeeded by the person who was next on the list for their party at the previous assembly election in that particular region.

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