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Thursday, August 05, 2010

The lost leader

The Western Mail must be in mourning. As they report yesterday, their dream of Ieuan Wyn Jones being succeeded by the former Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr is in tatters.

The paper tells us that: Mr Price, who made his name exposing then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s backing for the Indian-born steel magnate and Labour donor Lakshmi Mittal, stood down from his Carmarthen East and Dinefwr seat at the General Election, saying he wanted to switch to the Assembly.

But former Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who represents the seat at Cardiff Bay, refused to stand down, and Mr Price indicated his intention to seek a regional list seat.

In the meantime, however, he has taken up a Fulbright Scholarship at Harvard University in the United States. The course finishes in the week of next May’s Assembly election.

Mr Price could not be contacted for comment, but a friend said: “He has agonised over this and feels it would not be right to take part in an election when he could not commit himself fully to the campaign.

So where now for Plaid Cymru? Adam Price’s decision has created a leadership succession problem for Plaid, we are told. The paper says that party strategists had been working on the assumption that the current leader, Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, would stand down at some stage during the next Assembly term, with Mr Price his obvious successor. Alas that is not to be.

Step forward Ron Davies. A very strong contender to be the next AM for Caerphilly sporting nationalist colours and a former Secretary of State for Wales. What would be more natural than that he should assume the Plaid Cymru leadership in due course?

If John Marek can stand for the Tories then Ron can lead Plaid Cymru. Surely it must be a done deal.
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