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Snubs, nods and winks

Betsan Powys | 13:05 UK time, Monday, 7 September 2009

If this was indeed the first snub of September, we now have a contender for the second.

Dafydd Wigley has withdrawn his nomination for membership of the House of Lords - not a flounce nor a principled stand he says - more like pragmatism. He's hung on for 18 months, is known to have turned down the kind of job offers former senior politicians tend to get and isn't prepared to hang around any longer.

Elfyn Llwyd, Plaid leader in the House of Commons has "turned every stone" to ensure the nominations meant something, says Mr Wigley, that they led to actual seats in the Lords. What "turning every stone" means in a process as opaque as this one and that started with an alleged nod-and-wink from the Chief Whip, Geoff Hoon, is anyone's guess.

However in a quiet corner of the Eisteddfod field in the Bala, Mr Llwyd broke the news that nothing would be moving before the General Election.

Janet Davies and Eurful ap Gwilym are still hanging on in there with Mr Wigley's support but they, as he points out in the Western Mail and on the radio this morning, wouldn't find themselves sitting in the Assembly if Janet Ryder, currently an AM, wins the Clwyd South seat at the General Election. He would. Rather a lot of ifs and buts and woulds and coulds there and talk of "winning 26% of the vote" in Clwyd South in the past is even to Mr Wigley's ears, you suspect, unconvincing.

Why have the nomiations got nowhere?

Mr Wigley offers three theories:

1. Gordon Brown doesn't like nationalists.

2. Gordon Brown doesn't like the fact that the three nominees went through a process of being demcratically chosen by the party.

3. He doesn't like the way he's been treated by 'some Plaid members' in the House of Commons.

If could, of course, be something simpler. The Cabinet Office has said in the past that it's down to Plaid failing to do things properly and that making "unsolicited nominations" wasn't on.

Either way Mr Wigley hasn't just "cleared the air". He's cleared a path to fighting a seat in May 2011 too should any offers, solicited or otherwise, come his way.


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