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Phil Parry is a former BBC news and current affairs reporter. He is winner of the BT Wales award for journalist of the year, BT Wales TV reporter of the year and radio reporter of the year.
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We have been alone in showing the party’s founder’s links with a paramilitary organisation but it now says it wants to be ‘more consensual’

An extreme nationalist Welsh independence group created by the supporter of a paramilitary organisation which had links to the IRA, has been forced to reinvent itself following our revelations about its past, and that a senior official who ives in England is barred from voting for his own party in Wales, The Eye can exclusively reveal.

The contentious faction Ein Gwlad (Our Country/Land) EG has just announced it is to be now known as Gwlad Gwlad (Country Country/Land Land) GG, and the controversial Chair of the party Gwilym ab Ioan (whose nickname is Gwilym the Gardener) is standing down.

Stephen Morris – can’t vote for the party in Wales

It says on social media:  “A more consensual approach will… pay dividends for us”.

And:  “We want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the independence movement as a whole”.

It comes soon after we had shown that Stephen Morris‘General Party Spokesman’ and ‘Policy Researcher’ of EG, actually lives in England so is unable to vote for the party in Welsh elections.

In a piece introducing it on the Nation.Cymru website, Dr Morris wrote: “Wales is a unique country. There is nowhere quite like it.” But Dr Morris works in Wrexham yet lives across the English border in Shropshire.

Gwilym ab Ioan – ‘standing down’

Meanwhile next week we will disclose further alarming facts about the former Chair Mr ab Ioan which may have contributed to his ‘standing down’.

But this is not the first time we have exclusively divulged worrying details about senior officials with EG/GG. It was originally founded by a far right pensioner named Royston Jones, who now may have been eased out of the group.

He writes an acerbic blog called Jac o’ the North, which proclaims it is: “Interpreting Wales from a Right of Centre Nationalist perspective”.

He has published on his blog a picture of Cayo Evans, the leader of the 1960s paramilitary organisation, Free Wales Army (FWA), pointing a hand gun at the camera, and he revels in his long-standing support for the organisation. Mr Jones has also praised Evans as a “friend” and “comrade”.

Cayo Evans with gun as seen on the ‘Jac o’ the North’ blog

Evans was the leader of the FWA which came to prominence more than 50 years ago, and it has been reported that the Official IRA (OIRA) gave or sold, most of its weapons to the organisation as part of its turn away from political violence. Despite this, Dr Morris has described the party’s founder as “venerable”.

The disturbing news about both of them comes hard on the heels of other unnerving issues concerning EG/GG highlighted exclusively by The Eye.

The ‘venerable’ Royston Jones in his youth with the Free Wales Army (FWA)

Reporters say they have been unable to contact the party and campaigning before a possible UK General Election has been invisible. One journalist told us:  “It is incredibly difficult to get hold of Ein Gwlad (as it then was) for a comment. Nobody seems to know who to contact”. The EG/GG website was still active until recently and stated: “FOR NEWS, REVIEWS & OPINI0N ON THE POLITICAL FRONT IN CYMRU (WALES)”, but other engagement is minimal.

Yet this is not the first time EG/GG has been engulfed by problems.

Hotel – ‘concerns’

Following our revelations about Mr Jones’ connection with Evans, and news on The Eye of his publication of him with a pistol, a hotel where he was to announce the formation of the group, sent a message to him saying:  “With regards to … concerns, we have now cancelled your meeting room with full refund of payment”.

He then advertised on his blog a new venue, with the words: I am delighted to announce that a meeting has been arranged for November 18th (2018) in Aberystwyth to discuss the formation of a new political party to defend Wales’ interests”.

EG was unveiled but the audience was not vast

Before this a ‘public’ meeting was held in Autumn 2017 and we disclosed how Mr Jones had initially pledged to create the new party by early last year, with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) penciled in for March 3 2018, but nothing happened.

EG was finally unveiled at Llanelli later last year, but another nationalist blog had ‘reported’ earlier that a first ‘conference’ was to be held before the end of 2018.

Meanwhile Mr Jones’ support for the FWA and Evans, as well as previous statements have been questioned, and it seemed our Editor had become something of an irritant.

‘Irritating’

On November 19 Mr Jones had written on his blog:  “The meeting yesterday went very, very well. I was delighted with the turnout and with the enthusiasm shown…perhaps the one disappointment – given the interest he’s shown in the new party – was that Phil Parry of The Eye wasn’t there. You could have had a scoop, Parry – ‘Shock! Horror! irritating little git thrown out of meeting”.

On November 22 he wrote 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”.
 
Our Editor Phil Parry became angry when he was accused of being a liar

Plainly, despite our factual revelations, Mr Jones was troubled by our intervention, and wrote on his blog:  He (another critic of the plan) used the lies peddled by Phil Parry on The Eye”.

 
Mr Jones may have blamed our Editor in the past, but he has used ‘lies’ before in describing him. More than three years ago he called Mr Parry “a lying bastard” and dubbed him “vermin”.
 
Mr Jones said on Jac o’ the North:  “That lying bastard Phil Parry never misses an opportunity to twist or invent ‘facts’”. He continued:  “He’s a mouthpiece for the Labour Party (many of The Eye articles have been about the misdeeds of Labour politiciansand often ‘trails’ stories for Llais y Sais (we never write ‘trails’ for other organisations)
 
Does Royston Jones know his law?

Evidently Mr Jones is unaware of legal rules because these comments are highly-defamatory, and as they have been published, they fall within the remit of libel laws.

Mr Jones’ attempt to create the new Welsh independence party was also the subject of our satirist Edwin Phillips, and came soon after controversy was prompted by his personal views.
 
The ‘Full Of Shit’ award for Royston Jones

The equal treatment of disabled people is viewed by commentators as a progressive mark of civilised countries, and it is seen as important to address debilitating illnesses, but it seems Mr Jones does not agree. One of the lines by him on Jac o’ the North which caused particular offence was:  “Am I alone in thinking there’s an element of a Victorian freak show in the Paralympics?”. 

 
Mr Jones has also promoted a petition calling for social housing only to be given to people from Wales. Families from London who took homes from a Welsh housing association were heavily criticised, and they were called perverts.
 
Social housing in Wales only for the Welsh?

But readers have been dismayed in the past by what has appeared on Mr Jones’ blog. One commentator on The Eye said:  “The man (Royston Jones) and the knuckle draggers that follow him are fascistic ethnic nationalists end of and don’t really deserve the air of publicity except to say that wales has an alarmingly high number (of) far right supremacists who have convinced themselves they have oppressed status so think its okay to demonise ordinary people like retirees from English cities who’ve moved within their own nation state”.

Another critic of Mr Jones told us:  “I feel like taking a bath after I read his stuff”.
It seems now they have put a new label on his bathtub.
But calling it Gwlad Gwlad (GG) cannot disguise the fact that it was founded by a man with links to a paramilitary group, who posted a picture of its leader holding a gun on his blog.
Book posterPhil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 36-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!

 

 

 

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