January 26, 2012

Nominations close for Plaid Cymru leadership election

Nominations for the Plaid Cymru leadership are closing with four candidates expected to contest the election.
Assembly members Simon Thomas, Lord Elis-Thomas, Leanne Wood and Elin Jones are in the running.
Current leader Ieuan Wyn Jones is standing down after a disappointing result for the party at last year's assembly election.

Nominations close on Thursday. The new leader will be elected on 15 March.

Mr Jones' successor will take the reins before Plaid's spring conference in Cardiff.
Mid and West Wales AM Mr Thomas is a former MP and was an adviser to the cabinet in the former Labour-Plaid coalition government.
"I'm talking about the issues that I think the party should be talking about, which is jobs and making ourselves less dependent," he said.
Lord Elis-Thomas, also a former MP, led the party in the 1980s and served as the assembly's presiding officer for 12 years.
Industrial heartlands

He said he was inspired to stand by the success of his Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency at last year's election "and that there was an opportunity for us to take that message throughout Wales".
South Wales Central AM Ms Wood, whose campaign has been boosted by the backing of prominent former Plaid MP Adam Price, said Plaid needed a breakthrough in Wales' industrial heartlands to become the biggest party in the assembly.

"I think I'm able to speak to people in order to do that," she said.
Ceredigion AM Miss Jones was the rural affairs minister in the previous assembly government.
She said she was "ambitious" for the future of her party, adding: "I want to see us break out of our comfort zones and talk to the people of Wales."

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