Leanne Wood: Plaid Cymru and Labour could form united alternative to Tories
Published: 24th Apr 2012 11:39:02
New Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has made an overture to the Labour Party to build a "united Welsh alternative" to the Conservatives.
She spoke as her party approaches its first test under her leadership in next week's local council elections.
In the BBC Wales interview she repeated opposition to working with the Tories.
She also explained why as a republican she turned down an invitation to a Diamond Jubilee service with the Queen in Cardiff on Thursday.
Labour and Plaid formed a Welsh government coalition after the assembly election in 2007.
We will form local coalitions and we will co-operate with anyone who shares our progressive values and our progressive agenda”
Their One Wales pact lasted until last year's assembly election when Labour was returned to power, but without an outright majority in the Senedd chamber.
Her comments come as Plaid and Labour compete for votes at the local elections on Thursday, 3 May, particularly in places like Carmarthenshire and Caerphilly.
Ms Wood said Labour had "let people down", accusing the party of "inaction" and "a lack of ambition".
But she added: "Where Labour would be prepared to co-operate with us, where they are prepared to put forward progressive policies and where they are prepared to ditch tribalism and parochialism, we will look to work with Labour under those circumstances.
"But it is all about the kind of progressive politics that we can build. Can we build a united Welsh alternative to the Tories' cuts?
"I think we can, but that will involve people coming together with a positive attitude to do that."
In article published online on Tuesday, Ms wood wrote about the tow parties creating "a truly united and progressive civic force operating at all levels".
Coalitions with other parties have to be formed on the basis of "shared values", she told BBC Wales.
"We will form local coalitions and we will co-operate with anyone who shares our progressive values and our progressive agenda," she said.
"For me, that rules out the Conservatives. I don't see how anyone could argue that the Conservatives have Wales' best interests at heart.
"The cuts they are meting out from London now are affecting people in Wales worse than they are in other parts of the UK."
Plaid says the local elections come too soon into Ms Wood's leadership to be seen as a referendum on her. She was elected on 15 March.
"I've just come into post so I think it would be a big expectation to think that my leadership can drastically change the fortunes of Plaid Cymru," she said.
"I'm hoping that we can do well. Obviously we are going all out to win as many council seats as we can."
She added: "It's going to be a difficult election for Plaid Cymru. The British parties are very much trying to turn it into a British election."
Ms Wood has turned down an invitation to attend a service with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff on Thursday, held as part of celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
Although she has said she will be present when the Queen opens the Welsh assembly, Ms Wood said that as a republican she could not attend Thursday's service and that "principles and honesty are important in politics".
At a press briefing, Plaid AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said the party would be represented at the cathedral by its three previous leaders - Ieuan Wyn Jones, Lord Wigley and Lord Elis-Thomas.
Asked about Ms Wood's offer to Labour, he said: "I didn't hear that interview therefore I have no idea what Leanne was referring to."
Conservative assembly leader Andrew RT Davies said: "Leanne is marking out her territory obviously advocating independence for Wales (and) a more left-wing position than maybe the Labour Party would advocate. It's for her to mark out her territory.
"The Conservatives have championed Wales within the UK and have delivered for Wales... the question is almost what have Plaid Cymru ever achieved for Wales?"
Mr Davies cited electrification of the railway line from Paddington to Cardiff and the referendum on increased powers for the assembly as examples of the Conservatives delivering for Wales.
At 22:00:20 in PoliticsThe zero-hours contract - alongside the payday loan and the bad bank - has gained a kind of totemic significance in the public imagination.
At 22:00:03 in ScotlandScottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.
At 21:50:40 in BusinessInternet retailer Amazon reported a 32% jump in profits to $108m (£64m) in the first quarter of 2014.
At 21:48:30 in EnglandPolice have carried out a series of raids in east London, following a BBC London investigation into shops willing to deal in stolen smartphones.
At 21:47:39 in BusinessMicrosoft reported net profit of $5.66bn (£3.37bn) in the first quarter, a decline from the same period last year but better than market estimates.
At 21:45:57 in SportGreat Britain beat the Netherlands 4-3 in their latest World Championship Division 1 Group B outing in Vilnius.
At 21:34:40 in SportThe Scottish Professional Football League will look into allegations that a Kilmarnock player's signature was forged on a contract.
At 21:11:26 in EnglandA farmer accused of manslaughter after a walker was killed by his bull has denied that the animal was aggressive.
At 21:09:55 in SportJurgen Klopp has ruled himself out of contention to become the next manager of Manchester United.
At 20:52:56 in WalesA 15 year-old girl has been cut free after becoming trapped in a children's swing in a park in Denbighshire.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Leanne Wood: Plaid Cymru and Labour could form united alternative to Tories [Online] (Updated 24th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1424223/Leanne-Wood-Plaid-Cymru-and-Labour-could-form-united-alternative-to-Tories [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A 15 year-old girl has been cut free after becoming trapped in a children's swing in a park in Denbighshire.
Director Peter Jackson has changed the title of the final film in his Hobbit trilogy from There and Back Again to The Battle of the Five Armies.
Great Britain beat the Netherlands 4-3 in their latest World Championship Division 1 Group B outing in Vilnius.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
Scottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.