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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Plaid Cymru did try and do a deal with UKIP after all

There was a huge amount of controversy in May of this year when Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood was nominated for First MInister against Labour's Carwyn Jones and forced a 29-29 stalemate after she attracted the votes of UKIP and the Tories.

As Politics Home reported at the time, Labour were particularly vehement in their criticism. accusing Leanne Wood of “prancing about wanting to be First Minister” without having a programme for government that could attract majority support and of "unbelievable hypocritical behaviour" for seeking a deal witb UKIP and the Toriee despite claiming to be more anti-austerity than everybody else in the leadership debates only 18 months previously.

The then Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Owen Smith tweeted: "The new axis in Welsh Politics: #Plaidkip Coming soon to a Billboard near you..." whilst others took Plaid Cymru to task for even talking to UKIP after they had been so scathing about Nigel Farage and his party over such a long period of time.

Plaid Cymru though denied that they had approached UKIP for their votes, whilst one of their MPs. Jonathan Edwards accused Labour on twitter of standard red Tories tactics and of reverting to lies, smear and spin.

However, according to this article by Martin Shipton on Wales on-line, it is Plaid Cymru who have been caught out in a lie.

He reports that Plaid Cymru's Adam Price went in person to see UKIP’s newly elected group leader Neil Hamilton, whom he had got to know during the election campaign when both of them stood for election in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. Adam was elected and Hamilton won a regional seat in Mid and West Wales. Adam Price formally requested UKIP support for Leanne's candidacy.

As Martin Shipton reports “He embraced the idea enthusiastically and didn’t need any persuasion,” said Adam. “He quickly offered the support of the rest of the UKIP group too.”

Adam Price also approached the Conservative group to request their support, which they gave reluctantly.  The Welsh Liberal Democrats sole AM, Kirsty Williams eschewed this bizarre coalition and refused to endorse any deal involving UKIP or the Tories. She backed the leader of the largest group for First Minister.

So much for Plaid Cymru's indignant denials of having sort UKIP's endorsement of Leanne as First Minister.
Plaid always said that they informed the other parties. It's not a "deal". The article again says nothing was offered to UKIP or Tories.

The vote led to Lib Dems going into government and Plaid entering a light confidence and supply agreement. Plaid knew something like that might happen.

The hysteria over quite normal multi-party manoevring is a shame. This stuff is good and caused excitement. UKIP were also backing Dafydd El for Llywydd at the time which would have heightened the possibilities for people to vote a certain way.
It is quite clear from what Adam Price says that this goes beyond Informing' other parties. He was actively seeking their support. And given they misled us about that how can we be certain nothing was offered in return?
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