A Guide to Plaid Cymru

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A guide to Plaid Cymru – the party of Wales


Plaid Cymru (Welsh for ‘Party of Wales’, and often just ‘Plaid’) is the main nationalist party in Wales. It was founded in 1925 and is now represented in the House of Commons, House of Lords, National Assembly for Wales, and European Parliament.

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Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price

Fact-file:

Leader and leader in the Welsh Assembly: Adam Price AM
Leader in the House of Commons: Liz Saville Roberts MP
Number of MPs: 4 (out of 40 in Wales, 650 UK-wide)
Number of AMs (Assembly members): 10 (out of 60)
Logo: Yellow Welsh poppy
Traditional colour: Dark(ish) green

History
– In 1925 various Welsh nationalist groups founded Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru (the National Party of Wales), a new party to promote and preserve the Welsh language and culture – this was a time where the Welsh language had recently declined, being spoken by less than half of the Welsh population.
– In 1932 the party added support for self-government for Wales for the first time, and in the 1940s changed their name to Plaid Cymru.
– In 1966 the party had its first MP elected, when Gwynfor Evans won the Carmarthen by-election.
– In 1997 Wales voted in favour of setting up a National Assembly, which was supported by Plaid Cymru, alongside Labour and the Liberal Democrats. At the first election to it in 1999 Plaid were the second-largest party, and formed the largest opposition group to the Labour-led government until 2007.
– In 2007 Plaid entered government in Wales for the first time. Initially they wanted to lead a coalition with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, but after the Lib Dems pulled out of talks, they formed a coalition with Labour.
– In 2015 Plaid were invited to take part in the UK-wide televised general election debates for the first time. This raised the profile of the party and their then-leader Leanne Wood, though it didn't cause them to win any more seats at the election.
– In 2018 Leanne Wood was challenged successfully for the party leadership, and Adam Price took over.

Policies
Independence: Plaid Cymru supports independence for Wales and the breaking up of the United Kingdom. Though sometimes this has been treated as a long-time goal, recently Plaid Cymru, alongside grassroots pro-independence campaigns like YesCymru, have started to call for independence as soon as possible. Plaid have always supported the devolution of more powers to Wales.

Finance and economics: Plaid Cymru has recently been supportive of tax raises for higher earners following the devolution of some income tax powers to Wales. Under Adam Price they have however proposed cutting income tax by 9%, cutting corporation tax in Wales, and removing business rates, and introducing much higher taxes on land.

Foreign affairs: Plaid Cymru is not a pacifist party, but in practice it has opposed most UK involvement in recent wars, such as the airstrikes in Syria in late 2015. Plaid Cymru MPs tried to impeach Tony Blair during the Iraq War. Plaid is also anti-nuclear weapons (and also officially against nuclear power, though many members do not agree with this).

Culture and Welsh language: Plaid Cymru have always supported increasing the rights of Welsh speakers. At the moment this means calling for private businesses in Wales to be required to provide services in both Welsh and English, as is the case for the public sector. Recent projects have also included calling for the control of broadcasting to be devolved, for traditional Welsh place names to be protected from change, and for more Welsh-specific history to be taught in schools.

Education: Plaid Cymru supports free tuition for all Welsh students who study in Wales. They also support educating all students at least partly through the medium of Welsh, so that every child in Wales leaves school fluent in both national languages.

Brexit: Plaid Cymru campaigned in the referendum for Remain. Straight after the referendum, Plaid Cymru called for Wales to stay in the Customs Union and Single Market. Whilst they have often been quietly supportive, only recently (October 2018) has the leadership begun to clearly call for a new referendum.
Last edited by Saracen's Fez; 3 years ago
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