Wales politics

Elis-Thomas pledges to back Labour Welsh Government

Lord Elis-Thomas and Carwyn Jones Image copyright BBC/Getty
Image caption Lord Elis-Thomas says he is giving Carwyn Jones "the stable majority a government needs"

Former Plaid Cymru leader Lord Elis-Thomas has told BBC Wales that he will be supporting the Welsh Government during this assembly term.

He sits as an independent AM after resigning from Plaid Cymru in October, claiming the party was not serious about supporting stable government.

The move gives Labour a working majority in the Senedd.

On Thursday, First Minister Carwyn Jones denied discussing any offer of a ministerial job with Lord Elis-Thomas.

"Following my recent discussions with the first minister I can confirm my positive intention to support the current Welsh Government for the duration of the fifth assembly," the Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM told BBC Wales on Monday.

"This provides the stable majority a government needs to continue to develop devolution opportunities and negotiate a continuing relationship with mainland Europe, both key issues for the area I am proud to represent."

'Constant review'

Responding to Lord Elis-Thomas' announcement, a Plaid Cymru spokesman said: "Tomorrow [Tuesday], the finalised version of the budget agreed by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government will be published.

"Constructive working has produced the best budget seen in Wales for many years. Lord Elis-Thomas chose not to participate in that work.

"We have kept the compact with the Welsh Government under constant review and are scheduled to discuss it at our next group meeting in the New Year.

"We look forward to the fruits of the compact being published in tomorrow's finalised budget."

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood had warned that the party would end its co-operation deal with Labour in the Senedd if the first minister appointed another AM from outside the party to be a minister.

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Media captionConstituents still my priority, says Lord Elis-Thomas

A spokesman for the first minister said: "We said from the outset of this assembly that no one party has all the answers and we would seek to work with people across the chamber to deliver for Wales.

"This is all the more important given the deep divisions within the country following the vote to leave the European Union.

"We will continue to seek to work together with others to deliver for the businesses and communities of Wales."

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