Leanne Wood: Senior Plaid Cymru figures 'unhappy' over Rhondda

Nick Servini
Political editor, Wales

Media caption, Leanne Wood denied that she had "bottled" out of seeking election as an MP

To stand or not to stand? Senior Plaid Cymru figures have spoken to BBC Wales political correspondent Aled ap Dafydd about Leanne Wood's decision not to run in Rhondda. In a guest blog, he reveals unhappiness within the party at how the affair was handled.

"You were at best indecisive and at worst you bottled it".

That's how I put it to Leanne Wood after she decided not to stand as a candidate in the Rhondda constituency.

"I don't accept that" she replied, before going on to say the issue was a BBC obsession.

Journalists chase the hare when it is still on the loose. The central figure gave legs to the story for five days before finally knocking it down.

It could be a wise move. Plaid could win Rhondda with another candidate without the need for a leadership contest.

But they might not.

Leanne Wood might rue her decision.

Image caption, One source suggested Leanne Wood was trying to rattle the cage of the Labour incumbent

Some senior Plaid figures are unhappy. Two party heavyweights told me it was a bad move to allow the story to drift for such a long time.

If you open the door you have to walk through, is a version of what one said.

He also suggested that there was no real intent to stand, rather an attempt to rattle the cage of the Labour incumbent. By the way, he didn't approve of this.

The other grandee said the messaging had been confusing.

A lifeboat?

If the important decisions are made in Westminster, as Leanne Wood claims, then she should stand in this election, he said.

One of my sources suggested Rhondda was like a lifeboat.

Stand, win and as party rules dictate, stand down as leader. Go out in a blaze of glory if local and general election results go against the party. Jump, albeit a high jump, before a push.

Ironically, Leanne Wood's future could be in the hands of her predecessor.

Ieaun Wyn Jones in all likelihood will be the Plaid candidate in Ynys Mon. A win here would arguably lead to Plaid's most successful election since she became leader five years ago.

Not that his nomination isn't raising eyebrows.

"This has to be the last time we have a middle aged white man in a suit standing here" reflected one middle aged white man in a suit.

He understood the irony, but was being serious.

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