Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Saturday, 11 July 2009 16:20 UK

'Leak' claims candidate removed

Sian Caiach
Plaid Cymru carried out internal disciplinary action against Sian Caiach

A prominent Plaid Cymru figure who was accused of leaking stories to the media has been removed from the party's list of approved election candidates.

Sian Caiach, who was Ogmore candidate, is barred from standing for two years.

The Carmarthenshire councillor said she was "very upset" at the decision after complaints by Plaid chair John Dixon, but she declined to comment further.

Outside politics, she had previously been suspended as an orthopaedic surgeon over "whistleblowing".

The party said it had taken her off its list after "a complaint and an internal disciplinary procedure".

Plaid is now beginning a search for a new candidate for the Ogmore constituency, and will reopen nominations "as soon as possible".

Mr Dixon had accused Ms Caiach of leaking a succession of stories to the media over the past three years.

Following an appeal to Plaid's membership panel last weekend, it was decided Ms Caiach would be prevented from standing as a candidate for two years, but that she would remain within the party.

In April, the Western Mail reported that Mr Dixon had called on Plaid chief executive Gwenllian Lansdown to organise the disciplinary hearing.

'Private correspondence'

According to the newspaper, Mr Dixon's complaint was under three headings.

These were: "Passing internal party information to the media; failing to co-operate with an investigation by the party chair into a leak of private correspondence which led to damaging coverage; and encouraging one or more persons to write and publish misleading stories which would damage the party".

The Western Mail said at the time that while it did not disclose its sources, it stated "categorically" that Ms Caiach did not give it information about internal voting figures to select Plaid candidates for the Welsh assembly election.

Ms Caiach stood in the Gower constituency in 2001 and 2005, coming fourth on both occasions.

Until her expulsion, she would have stood at the next election in Ogmore, where Plaid also came fourth at the last election with 10.4% of the vote. The seat is held by Wales Office minister, Huw Irranca-Davies.

Ms Caiach has also been in the headlines outside party politics. In 2002, she was allowed to return to work as a consultant at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli after being suspended for more than two years.

She was suspended in April 2000 after claiming that private patients were being treated at the hospital while NHS patients were turned away because of a beds crisis.

In 2008 she was also reported to have been barred from entering medical premises throughout mid and west Wales in her role as a county councillor.

The trust said at the time that the decision to bar her from its premises "was reasonable taking into consideration all of the circumstances of the case", and she was not prevented from entering its property "as a patient or carer."

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