Wales politics

'Some senior Plaid Cymru members would rather be Labour's junior partner'

Neil McEvoy
Image caption Neil McEvoy had 10,205 votes in the Cardiff West constituency in 2016, behind Mark Drakeford's 11,381

There are people at the top of Plaid Cymru who would rather be a junior partner in a coalition with Labour than see their leader as first minister.

That is according to Plaid's former AM Neil McEvoy, who recently withdrew his application to rejoin the party.

He wants to meet Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price for "mediation and a face-to-face meeting".

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said the party "is unified in its mission to win" the 2021 election.

Earlier this month the controversial politician withdrew his application to re-join the party he was expelled from.

Mr McEvoy has stood for the party in First Minister Mark Drakeford's Cardiff West constituency on a number of occasions, and says only he can win there for Plaid Cymru.

But the former Plaid AM says there are several people within the party who would rather see Mr Drakeford retain his seat and seek a coalition after the next assembly election in 2021.

Mr McEvoy told BBC Wales: "I think the issue really, is whether or not Plaid Cymru wants to win. I'd say the members do, but some people in authority at this moment in the party, do they want to win? Do they want to form a government? I know Adam Price does, I know I do.

"But I think there are some people who would probably be more comfortable being junior partners to Labour and I absolutely oppose that. I want to see Adam Price as first minister, I want to see a Plaid Cymru government but to do that we have to win Cardiff West. And I can."

Asked who he thought was acting in such a way, he added: "Why would anybody at the top of Plaid Cymru try to enable a Labour victory in Cardiff West? it doesn't make sense. The only explanation could be, would be, maybe there's a comfortable deal somewhere and some in Plaid want to be junior partners.

"I think you should ask the chair of Plaid Cymru, Alun Ffred [Jones], you should ask the chief executive. Those are the people who complained about me. Those are the people who want me out.

"Members didn't complain, those people did. And I know Adam wants to win, I want Adam to win, so let's get on with it. Let's get it done."

Plaid Cymru was a junior coalition partner to Labour in the One Wales government from 2007-2011, when Ieuan Wyn Jones served as deputy first minister.

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