Plaid Cymru, meaning Party of Wales, were formed in 1925 in order to campaign for the rights of Wales and Welsh people. The party’s main goals when they were founded were to promote an independent wales, revive the Welsh Language and build an equal society based on socialism.
The party’s popularity grew in the early 20th century. Party members David John Williams and Lewis Valentine set fire to an RAF base in Penyberth in 1936, a move which landed them both in prison, but also gave the party much needed public exposure. As a result, party membership had doubled by 1939. The party took a neutral view to the Second World War
In the 50’s the party’s popularity grew again due to the campaigning against the flooding of the village Capel Celyn to create a reservoir in order to supply the city of Liverpool with water.
Plaid Cymru won its first seat in the House of Commons in 1966 at a by-election in Carmarthen.
Since the late 20th century the party has steadily increased in popularity, receiving mixed results over the last few elections. They are still viewed as the third most popular party in Wales behind Welsh Labour and Welsh Conservatives respectively.
Leader – Leanne Wood AM
Leanne Wood has been the leader of Plaid Cymru since 2012, replacing Ieuan Wyn Jones. She is a member of the Welsh Assembly representing South Wales Central, a region she has represented since 2003.
Leanne attended the University of Glamorgan studying Public Administration and later attended Cardiff University, qualifying as a probation officer.
Before working in Politics full time, Leanne worked as a probation officer for Mid Glamorgan Probation Service and lectured at Cardiff University.
Quick Facts about Leanne Wood AM:
– She is the only leader of Plaid Cymru to be a non-native speaker of the Welsh Language
– She once slept rough on the streets of Cardiff to highlight immigration issues.
– She is the first female leader of Plaid Cymru in its 90 year history.
Party Colour – Green
Current Number of Seats
3 seats in Commons. 2 seats in Lords. 11 seats in the National Assembly of Wales.
Main manifesto policies as set out by Plaid Cymru:
“Working for Wales”
– “A fairer economy:” increase the minimum wage to a living wage for more than 250,000 workers and zero business rates for over 70,000 Welsh companies.
– “To save and strengthen our NHS:” Extra 1,000 doctors for Welsh NHS
– “To get Wales working again:” 50,000 jobs through more public contracts for Welsh companies
– Scrap Bedroom Tax
– Transfer control of criminal justice system – including policing – to Wales
– Oppose renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system
– Wales to get same powers as Scotland. Also similar funding – additional £1.2bn each year
– Reintroduce the 50p tax rate for high earners