Dafydd Elis-Thomas sacking 'entirely appropriate'

Plaid Cymru's chairman Dafydd Trystan Davies said the party "needs to be disciplined"

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It was "entirely appropriate" for Leanne Wood to sack Lord Elis-Thomas as the chairman of an assembly committee for criticising her attack on UKIP.

Plaid Cymru's chairman Dafydd Trystan Davies said the party "needs to be disciplined in order to present" a "progressive, positive agenda".

Speaking to the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales, he defended a decision to dismiss the veteran politician.

The peer was Plaid transport spokesman and chair of the environment committee.

Start Quote

It's been decisive, it's been clear, and Plaid are putting forward that positive message to the voters”

End Quote Dafydd Trystan Davies Plaid Cymru's chairman

Lord Elis-Thomas, the assembly's former presiding officer and an ex-leader of Plaid, said an attack on UKIP at the party's spring conference was "facile".

He said his comments were directed at a description of UKIP as "un-Welsh" in a briefing and press release.

Mr Davies stressed that appointing committee chair people in the assembly was a matter for parties and their leaders, adding: "Therefore it is entirely appropriate when matters of discipline arise that the party leader uses every means at her disposal."

He said: "It's been decisive, it's been clear, and Plaid are putting forward that positive message to the voters."

Similar action had been taken by other parties, he said.

'Undermined'
Dafydd Elis-Thomas Lord Elis-Thomas was sacked as chair of the cross-party assembly environment committee by Plaid leader Leanne Wood

"There is a process and that process has been followed," he added.

Looking towards the next assembly elections in 2016, Mr Davies said he had "no doubt that he (Lord Elis-Thomas) will play a positive and constructive role in fighting his seat in Dwyfor Meirionnydd and making a broader contribution I hope".

The peer won support last week from members of the assembly committee from which he was sacked.

But former Plaid Cymru AM and MP Cynog Dafis said Mr Elis-Thomas was right to be sacked as his comment "undermined the success" of the party's conference.

Plaid Cymru will nominate Alun Ffred Jones for chair of the environment committee while Rhun ap Iorwerth will become the party's transport spokesperson.

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