Leanne Wood rejects call to shift Plaid to political centre

By Daniel Davies
BBC Wales political correspondent

Media caption, Leanne Wood: People back parties who are seen to be battling for them in their communities

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has rejected a call to re-position the party in the political centre ground.

On Friday, a Plaid MP said trying to compete with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party on the left risked "oblivion".

Instead, Jonathan Edwards said the party should aim for the centre ground vacated by Labour and the Tories.

But speaking from Plaid's spring conference Ms Wood told BBC Wales: "The centre in Wales is Welsh Labour and that place is filled, you could argue".

Interviewed for a BBC television programme covering the event in Llangollen, she said: "I think the question of politics in Wales is different to politics in England for example.

"And really people in communities do they really think about politics in those terms? I don't think they do.

"I think people back parties who are seen to be battling for them in their communities, standing up for them and trying to improve standards of living and things like improving health waiting times and so on.

"Most ordinary people don't see politics in these terms."

Media caption, Jonathan Edwards says Plaid should "aim for the gaping void in the middle" of politics

Mr Edwards' comments were echoed by Plaid's Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, who also said Plaid should be open to working with the Conservatives in order to oust the Welsh Labour Government.

But Ms Wood repeated her opposition to going into coalition with the Tories.

Asked about a call for unity in her conference speech yesterday, Ms Wood said: "Wales needs a new government and Plaid Cymru is ready to be that government, but in order to get to that place where people will support us then we need to be united and absolutely clear about our sense of direction and purpose."

Later, closing the conference, the party's AM Adam Price said Plaid would aim to offer an independence referendum and create a national air carrier and energy grid if it was in government in Wales for two terms.

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