Here's Plaid's response (in full) to Mohammad Asghar's defection:
The Leader of Plaid Cymru Ieuan Wyn Jones AM has responded with surprise and disappointment to the news that Mohammad Asghar, the Assembly Member for South Wales East has left Plaid Cymru to join the Conservative group in the Assembly.
Mr Asghar was elected to represent the South Wales East region on behalf of Plaid Cymru in 2007. The Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said:
“We very much regret Mohammad Asghar’s decision and it comes as a shock to members both of the Plaid Cymru group and the wider party. We were particularly surprised to hear of this news from the media. We were very proud of the fact that in campaigning hard for Mohammad Asghar’s election in 2007 that Plaid Cymru ensured the first ever Assembly Member from the black minority ethnic community. It is has come as a shock that he has now decided that he shares the same values as those held by the Conservative and Unionist party.”
The Chair of the Plaid Cymru group Dai Lloyd said:
“We now call on Mohammad Asghar to take the honourable decision to resign his seat as a Plaid Cymru AM. The people of the South Wales region did not want a second Tory AM to represent the area – they elected a Plaid Cymru AM. Mr Asghar does not have the political mandate to sit in the Assembly as a Conservative member for the South East.”
10 hours ago