Plaid Cymru Leadership Moves

It is being rumoured that a Harvard University scholar and one of the leading lights of Welsh nationalist political thinking is considering standing for the leadership of Plaid Cymru in a joint bid with Plaid Assembly Member (AM) Leanne Wood.

Adam Price was previously a Member of the Westminster Parliament from 2001 until he stepped down in 2010 to take up a Fulbright scholarship at Harvard University in the United States of America. A source within Plaid told the Western Mail newspaper yesterday (6th August) that Mr Price intends to stand in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2016 and would like to have a leadership role within the party. Mr Price and Ms Wood AM are already being touted as the Welsh equivalent of Scotland’s Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon who have successfully led the Scottish National Party (SNP) to two Scottish Governments.

Immediately following the disappointing election results for Plaid Cymru in the May 2011 elections for the Welsh Assembly, the General Secretary GS of the Celtic League commented in his analysis of the election that Plaid needed to “reflect heavily” on it performance and to “take stock of where the party is and where it is going if it is to move forward positively”. The GS also proposed that the lack of strong leadership within Plaid could have been a contributory factor in its poor election result that saw the party drop four seats in its representation in the Welsh Assembly and move from a party of government to a party that came in close to bottom in terms of its representation.

With the announcement in May 2011 that Ieuan Wyn Jones would indeed resign his leadership position, speculation has followed as to whom would take over. One name that has been put forward is Lord Dafydd Ellis Thomas who was leader of Plaid between 1984 and 1991, but the most exciting suggestion to date has been for Adam Price to take the lead. A Plaid source told the Western Mail:

“Several years ago a party rule was brought in that means the leader must be an AM. After May’s election, the party group at the Assembly is five smaller than it was before. It makes sense to open the leadership up so that people who are not currently AMs could stand.

“That’s what happened in Scotland before the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, when Alex Salmond was the leader of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon was the SNP leader in the Parliament.”

The announcement of Mr Price’s possible intention to stand for leadership could indeed be precipitous on the day of Plaid’s eighty sixth anniversary. Both Mr Price and Ms Wood are on the left side of the Party.

Link:

Shipton M (2011) `Can Plaid’s dynamic duo be new Sturgeon and Salmond?’ 6 August
2011 [online] Available at: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2011/08/06/\can-plaid-s-dynamic-duo-be-new-sturgeon-and-salmond-91466-29187393/ (Accessed: 6 August 2011)

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

gensec@celticleague.net

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

07/08/11

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