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Clayton Jones asked people to get on board with his ideas

A controversial bus operator representing a party backed by a right-wing blogger who published the ‘c’ word and used social media to tell people to ‘fuck off’, won just a few votes in a recent Welsh council by-election, it has emerged.

Contentious Clayton Jones won only eight votes in the poll last Thursday for a Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC) seat and the nationalist party he stood for (Gwlad) was partly-established by the right wing writer Royston Jones, who celebrates his time in the paramilitary group Free Wales Army (FWA) during the 1960s.

Perhaps voters were put off by the language used by the man who helped create the party.

In 2021 Royston Jones declared on what was then ‘Twitter’ but is now ‘X’: “You patronising c**t! (written in full) Just fuck off home (Your first home)”.

Writing under his pseudonym ‘Jac o’the North’, he also tweeted: “That’s OK. If you don’t want to wear a mask just fuck off back to Englandland (sic)“.

Royston Jones used foul language

Royston Jones was a founding member of Ein Gwlad (EG, Our Land) which became Gwlad, Gwlad (GG, Land, Land), before being entitled Gwlad (G), and proclaimed it was: “a new voice for an independent Wales”.

In 2020 he wrote on the internet after an article on The Eye:  “Following Phil Parry’s latest attack on me I asked for the right to reply (The Eye – there has been no such request), but he hasn’t responded.  I’d prefer to ignore the irritating little git but he is now making serious and misleading allegations that have to be answered”.

MPs were concerned by Clayton Jones

His then party (as well as that now of Clayton Jones) put up a number of candidates in the December 2019 General Election (GE) who all lost their deposits.

But Clayton Jones has rarely been far from the headlines.

He used to represent the more moderate Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru (PC), but an official move in the UK Parliament showed unease about his alleged activities.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) in 2002 proclaimed that: “…this House notes that following a meeting…between Plaid Cymru leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Mrs Pauline Jarman, and the RCT Bus and Coach Operators’ Association, the Nationalist-run Council awarded an extraordinary one-year extension of the existing school bus contracts without any formal tendering process and increased the value of the contract by 7.5 per cent., rather than the 5.6 per cent. recommended by officers; further notes that the convenor of the RCT Bus and Coach Operators’ Association was a prominent Plaid Cymru supporter, Mr Clayton Jones, whose Shamrock buses was a major beneficiary of this new contract and who made a personal donation…to the Rhondda branch of Plaid Cymru only two weeks after the meeting with Mrs Jarman…”.

Questions have been raised about Clayton Jones’ fitness to run buses

Years after this EDM, Clayton Jones again made the news for all the wrong reasons, and was due to face a public inquiry about whether he was fit to run a bus service.

At one time, Clayton Jones had run Pontypridd-based Shamrock Travel (ST), which grew from being a one-vehicle company into one of the biggest bus operators in South East Wales, with a 229-strong fleet of vehicles and 300 staff.

Nick Jones was a worried man

In the same year, Mr Jones had set up Heart of Wales (HoW) – a significantly smaller operation than ST.

But the firm was embroiled in conflict with the Traffic Commissioner (TC), who barred it from running services in Caerphilly following a series of complaints.

These included that services ran late or not at all, and that they did not meet legal standards.

It was alleged that Clayton Jones should be put out of the travel business

TC Nick Jones said in a judgement that Clayton Jones met the loose definition of a “rogue operator”. He wrote: “I have no hesitation in confirming that the operator deserves to be put out of business. The legitimate industry and other road users would rightly expect me to do so”.

The TC made several other criticisms, including that Clayton Jones was a “malign” influence.

He also wrote: “The travelling public, compliant bus operators and the licensing system as a whole will benefit considerably as a result of this operator ceasing to have a PSV licence”.

Was Clayton Jones a ‘malign’ influence?

But in reviewing the TC’s decision, Judge Mark Hinchliffe decided Clayton Jones should be allowed to run services. In a submission to the judge, Clayton Jones said he would be obliged to make 20 workers redundant if forced to give up the Caerphilly bus routes and communities would be left without buses.

Huge crowds voted for Clayton Jones. Not

In the event, HoW went into liquidation and it was thought Clayton Jones might bring his bus operator’s career to an end.

It seems, though, that his political career has gone from strength to strength, even if he has represented two nationalist parties, and secured only eight votes representing the latest one..


The memories of our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry’s astonishing decades long award-winning career in journalism (including factual revelations about the past of individuals) as he was gripped by the incurable neurological disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in the book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!
Publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.
‘I MUSTN’T make a mistake in this story…’

Tomorrow – how during 23 years with the BBC, and 40 years in journalism (when he was trained to use simple language, Phil has made numerous mistakes, some of which have been during live broadcasting (as have others), but lessons were always learnt.