Dafydd Iwan welcomes Plaid Welsh National Party name change idea
A former president of Plaid Cymru has welcomed the idea of changing the party's English name, but not at the cost of "diluting our Welshness".
Dafydd Iwan said adopting the title of Welsh National Party instead of the Party of Wales had its strengths.
A review by party grandees has suggested that members should consider a name change.
Mr Iwan agreed with the review's finding that Plaid was often perceived as a party only for Welsh speakers.'Lack of clarity'
The possibility of a name change has been welcomed by one Rhondda Plaid councillor, but another in Gwynedd said the party had bigger problems to deal with.
The review was commissioned after disappointing results at last year's Welsh assembly election.
It said Plaid should be clearer about its goal of Welsh independence, and there had been a "lack of clarity" over Plaid's constitutional policy.
Analysis: branding expert Sara Robinson, Cake Communications, Cardiff
If it goes ahead it will be a radical departure for the party.
There is a misconception that Plaid Cymru is the party for Welsh speakers, but they have come a long way in the last 20 years.
They have many non-Welsh speaking members, as well as AMs and councillors, who represent areas which are not traditionally Welsh speaking.
But if you didn't know that, then you would be forgiven for assuming it's a party for Welsh speakers because a Welsh language brand gives that impression.
In that sense, their brand isn't truly reflecting the party as it is today and isn't working hard enough for them as it doesn't have the wide appeal the party needs.
I am sure there will be a lot of debate around the right and wrongs of dropping the Welsh language element [in English] of their brand.
But just as any business would take a long, hard look at how it markets itself after a period of poor results, I think it's only logical that the party undergoes a period of reassessment after disappointing recent elections.
This is especially true when you look what the SNP has achieved.
They (the SNP) are a populist party and represent a broad cross-section of people from a variety of communities.
While policies and core party values are clearly the most important thing, there is little point having all the substance in the world if your brand isn't demonstrating your relevance to as wide an audience as possible.
So it's a logical move for Plaid Cymru to be looking at this now, with four years to go until the next election - plenty of time to allow any new brand to 'bed in' with the electorate.
Mr Iwan, who was Plaid president from 2003 to 2010, said: "I certainly agree with the statement that Plaid Cymru has to clear the air on independence and how we get there.
"The question of the name is something I concur with. Other parties are starting to call themselves the party of Wales.
"Party of Wales is merely a translation of Plaid Cymru. The Welsh National Party would be a stronger label. It's not a big thing."
Mr Iwan said the suggestion of a name change had "obviously" come from English speaking areas, but Plaid Cymru would always be the party's main name.
"Calling it Welsh National Party in English would have its strengths and would highlight the national element," he added.
"We do have a slight problem with a perception among English speakers, in that if you don't speak Welsh you can't be a member of the party.
"Having a strong English name could help."
But Mr Iwan added that Plaid Cymru "should never appear to be diluting our Welshness and the ambition of the Welsh nation".'Positive step'
In the Welsh language heartland of Gwynedd, county councillor John Wynn Jones, who represents the Hendre ward in Bangor, said the party had bigger problems to solve.
He said: "The name is the least of our worries. I think we have bigger fish to fry. I wish they had not bothered because it's a bit of a red herring.
"With the changes we're going through, such as a change of leader, the name is one of the last things to change.
"But I haven't read the findings of the review yet."
John Daniel, who represents Aberdare West/Llwydcoed for Plaid on Rhondda Cynon Taf council, said it was a positive move.
"People tend to interpret Plaid Cymru as a party for Welsh speakers, but it's for everyone," he said.
"We don't have as many Welsh speakers as north Wales, but changing the name would make it more of a universal party.
"I think this would be a positive step and would attract more voters."