Andrew Edwards, Conservative party councillor in Pembrokeshire, has become the latest politician to be involved in a racism scandal. Edwards has represented the Haverfordwest Prendergast ward of the Pembrokeshire town council as a school governor since May 2022. In addition, he previously served as a magistrate until his resignation in July 2022.
In less than a year of serving in this post, he has been captured in a 16-second audio recording. In the recording, Edwards is heard discussing ethnic minorities and skin colour, whilst using racial slurs.
In the brief audio recording, Edwards allegedly claimed that:
On Tuesday, 11th April 2023, Edwards confirmed that he had left his position within the Conservative Party. According to him, it was somewhat of a precautionary measure considering the backlash from this audio recording. Nevertheless, he has refused to deny the allegations against him and his involvement in this audio recording.
Since the audio recording leaked, the Conservative Party has stated that they are investigating these allegations. Furthermore, The Sun also claimed that Andrew Edwards had not been suspended from his position.
Moreover, Andrew Edwards has made some statements regarding this leaked audio recording. He has stated that he’s aware of the “serious” allegations made against him. Edwards also confirmed that he has self-referred for an independent evaluation, from the Public Services Ombudsman. Further, he claimed that the decision is now the responsibility of legal experts and the ombudsman. Concluding his speech, Edwards claimed that he cannot comment further, as it would be unfair to the process.
Unusually, Edwards has decided to complete a self-referral to the Public Services Ombudsman for an independent evaluation regarding the recording and his future career. It is atypical for an individual to seemingly be so far ahead of their scandal. Edwards has withdrawn from his post and self-referred, fairly removing himself from accountability currently.
When this audio recording became public, Edwards deactivated all of his social media accounts. He has also been approached to comment on this situation further but has declined.
After this audio recording was leaked, Di Clements, the Conservative group leader for Pembrokeshire County Council, was asked to comment. According to the Independent, Clements asserted that on Tuesday, Edwards left the party group on the council. He also confirmed that they wouldn’t comment further until the ombudsman’s report.
The national black civil rights group in the UK, Black Equity Organisation (BEO), has expressed its opinion on this matter. The Chief Executive Officer of the BEO, Dr. Wanda Wyporska, spoke out against Andrew Edwards and this audio recording.
According to the Mirror, Wyporska stated:
I want to thank my editor for all his counsel and assistance with my writing and editing. I am very appreciative of all the help that he has provided, which has allowed my articles to come to life. His account on ‘The Social Talks’ is linked below:
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