Wales politics

Plaid Cymru should have 'nothing to do' with Labour, AM says

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Media captionNeil McEvoy said Plaid should spend the next four and a half years "grinding" Labour down

Plaid Cymru should have "absolutely nothing to do" with Labour, one of the party's AMs has said.

Neil McEvoy said the party should have a vote on the "compact" between the two parties.

But Adam Price told the BBC that Wales needed a "united front" to "steer the ship" after the June EU referendum vote for Brexit.

Plaid leader Leanne Wood told her party conference on Saturday that there would be no coalition.

But she had earlier said the party was "genuinely torn" over going into coalition with Labour.

Mr McEvoy told Plaid's autumn conference the party's poll ratings improve when Plaid opposes Labour.

He also criticised Plaid's assembly election performance, saying it only had good results in a "handful of seats" in May.

Mr McEvoy said Plaid needs to take a "serious look at ourselves" and challenge Labour "at every opportunity."

Image caption Leanne Wood has said Plaid members face a 'dilemma' over whether to go into coalition with Labour

The Compact To Move Wales Forward was an agreement Plaid made with Labour in May to allow Carwyn Jones to return as first minister, a week after he and Leanne Wood were deadlocked in a vote to take the top job.

It included commitments on policies the parties agree on like free childcare, a new NHS treatment fund and an infrastructure commission.

But Neil McEvoy, the party's sports spokesman, said the agreement has been broken because Labour AMs voted against creating legislation on autism.

"We should have absolutely nothing to do with that party," he said.

"The public want robust opposition and that is what we should give them.

"If we go into coalition with Labour we will lose support and will never have the power to really change Wales."

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Media captionAdam Price said he was in a "minority" over whether Plaid Cymru should go into coalition

Adam Price, Plaid finance spokesman, told BBC Wales: "My opinion changed after the Brexit vote because I feel... we needed a kind of a united front in Wales, in order for us to, can steer the ship through a difficult time."

He acknowledged he was in a minority on the issue.

"I think where the majority of our members and supporters are at the moment is somewhere in the middle, which says look that we can be a responsible opposition, a constructive opposition.

"We saw that through with the compact, with the deal on the budget that we should be holding the government to account.

"I think the majority of members and supporters feel that we've got the balance right at the moment... Ultimately it'll be the members which will decide."

Asked about Mr McEvoy's comments, Leanne Wood later told the BBC: "His views are his views and that's fine.

"We're an open party. We're happy to have these kind of discussions and disagreements."

Plaid agreed to pass Labour's draft budget last week after agreeing what it called the biggest deal since devolution, which will see £119m spent on Plaid priorities.

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