Yes Cymru’s entire central committee has quit amid complaints of harassment. 

The collective resignation was announced to members in an email this afternoon and said committee members had been subject to intolerable harassment that “went far beyond social media posts”. 

It read: “The members of the Central Committee of YesCymru have collectively resigned and stood down from their roles with immediate effect.” 

The group’s limited day to day operations will be overseen by a third party group of accountants in the interim period. The central committee had been operating with limited membership due to previous resignations. 

During 2020 the campaign group’s membership swelled to around 18,000 with the issue of Welsh independence having received greater attention in part to a growing awareness of existing Welsh autonomy within the UK highlighted by different approaches to the coronavirus pandemic. 

But there has been bitter online feuding over the group’s direction on social media and its chair Sion Jobbins announced his resignation in July for personal reasons. 

It was also announced at the end of July that central committee would face re-election at extraordinary general meeting to re-write its constitution at a date, in the autumn, that has yet to be announced. 

As part of the announcement all remaining central committee members had agreed to step down so fresh elections could be held. 

That was seen by some as an attempt to diffuse tensions thought others accused it of being orchestrated by those unhappy or opposed to the central committee. 

Yes Cymru email in full 

The members of the Central Committee of YesCymru have collectively resigned and stood down from their roles with immediate effect. 

The decision has not been made lightly, but is taken in the best interests of the organisation. Harassment directed towards Central Committee members, that goes far beyond social media posts, has taken an incredible toll on mental wellbeing and can no longer be tolerated. 

The announcement comes with the opportunity to enable a new Central Committee to be elected at a forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting, which will oversee the next stages of YesCymru’s development following the phenomenal growth and interest in the organisation since its launch. 

In order to safeguard the continuing operations of YesCymru until this new Central Committee is elected, an independent, third party firm of accountants has been instructed by the outgoing committee, prior to their resignations, to oversee limited day to day operations of the organisation. This includes oversight of finances, and will ensure the safe and prudent management of the affairs of YesCymru until a new Central Committee is in place. 

The outgoing Chair of the Central Committee, Sarah Rees, said: 
“The accountancy firm will focus on helping the Gweithgor and YesCymru staff to organise the forthcoming EGM and electing a new Central Committee. This decision has been taken in the best interests of the organisation and its members. It enables a totally clean break from the past and provides a clean start for the newly-elected Central Committee in the autumn, while protecting all the good that has been created. 

“YesCymru now has 18,000 members. It only officially launched five years ago. It is a fantastic success story, and testament to the hard work of ordinary members in growing the demand for Welsh independence. The decision taken today gives the new Central Committee, with the support of all 18,000 members, the opportunity to take YesCymru to the next level. 

“I would encourage all members of YesCymru to attend the EGM and to vote for a new Central Committee which reflects the type of movement you want to be a part of - this is your chance to shape the direction of YesCymru for the better and we wish the new Central Committee every success.” 

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