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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Disagreements between Plaid Cymru AMs spill out into public domain

I think it is fair to say that Twitter is not the best medium on which to have an internal discussion about party strategy. We should be grateful therefore when politicians ignore this rule and give us an insight into the dynamics of their party group.

In this particular instance the source of the disagreement is the decision by Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood to set herself against Carwyn Jones in the vote for First Minister, rather than seek a formal coalition with Labour.

According to the BBC, Dafydd Elis Thomas, who is a former Plaid Cymru leader, has criticised his party for "deciding to lead the opposition" rather than "working positively with government". They say that in a series of tweets, Lord Elis-Thomas questioned why Plaid should "gang up with UKIP" in the assembly?

This is an interesting question because at the time the Plaid Cymru denied any collusion with UKIP. Does Dafydd Ellis Thomas know differently?

The BBC say that the Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM, who is on holiday in Spain, tweeted his comments on Tuesday after Plaid colleagues criticised the Welsh Government's decision to drop plans for a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games:

Lord Elis-Thomas sent a message to Plaid's Shadow Economy Secretary Adam Price, questioning the party's "ambition" in its role as the official opposition to Labour in Cardiff Bay.

Mr Price replied: "Governance. Maybe you can come back with lessons from Menorca and the progressive alliance there between Mes, Podemos and PSIB."

Later, Lord Elis-Thomas: "Plaid decided to lead the opposition rather than work positively with government."

He described Plaid as the "'official opposition' of Welsh Conservatives and UKIP" and later asked "why should Plaid gang up with UKIP".

Lord Elis-Thomas also said: "An elected assembly has a constitutional duty to work for stable government", adding: "Doesn't Wales deserve a stable government now to negotiate its EU relations?"

All of these are valid points of course but Lord Elis Thomas will not be thanked by the Plaid Cymru leadership for raising them so publicly.
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