Wales politics

Rhodri Glyn Thomas in council political comeback bid

Rhodri Glyn Thomas Image copyright Plaid Cymru

Former culture minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas will attempt a political comeback by standing in local elections in 2017, he has said.

After 17 years as a Plaid Cymru AM, he stood down from the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr seat ahead of the assembly elections in May 2016.

Mr Thomas will stand in the St Clears ward and try and win a place on Carmarthenshire council for the party.

He is currently president of the National Library of Wales.

Mr Thomas resigned from the culture minister role in 2008 after claims he walked into a pub holding a lit cigar in contravention of a ban on smoking in public places.

He had been an AM since the formation of the assembly in 1999 and was one of three Plaid cabinet members when the party went into coalition with Labour in 2007.

Mr Thomas lives in the village of Llangynin, near to the St Clears ward, and said he wants to protect the local leisure centre from cuts and challenge the "democratic deficit" where "officials run the council".

He said: "We need to ensure elected members run the council."

The local authority is currently run by a coalition of Plaid Cymru and independent councillors.

Leader of the council, Plaid's Emlyn Dole, said: "The leadership provided by the executive board is both clear and exciting, qualities that were recognised in a recent report by the Wales Audit Office.

"The setting of the budget is a consultative process, and we are still in the process of consulting."

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