Leanne Wood has secured the backing of an influential arm of the Scottish National Party – the SNP Trades Union Group – which has thrown its weight behind her bid to become the first female leader of Plaid Cymru.
The group has hundreds of members who are trades union activists and SNP members. They have representation on the party’s National Executive Committee, and they have seen success by challenging the historic link between Labour and the unions, especially at times when Labour act against the best interests of Scottish workers.
Malcolm Balfour, organiser for the influential group, said with the right leader Plaid Cymru could also become the natural home for trade unionists in Wales.
Ms Wood has already secured the backing of Mark Serwotka, the General Secretary of the PCS union, who said “no Welsh politician has been a more reliable friend to our members.”
Ms Wood’s campaign was also boosted with a £500 donation from the FBU in Wales when it was launched.
Mr Balfour said: “Leanne Wood will be a tremendous leader for Plaid. Her strength and determination will be a great asset in the fight for independence for Wales.
“The SNP Trade Union Group urges Plaid members to vote for Leanne and look forward to working with her whenever the occasion arises.”
He added: “Here in Scotland, the SNP Trade Union Group has been a massive help to the party in getting the backing of trade unions. All it needs is for somebody to get to the rank and file members and then doors can be opened up for you.
“I know Leanne and as far as I’m concerned she is by far the best candidate in the contest. With her left-wing credentials and with trade unions looking to other parties for support rather than Labour, Leanne would be best placed with her status to attract trade union support.”
Ms Wood said: “It’s great to have the backing of the SNP Trade Union Group who have worked hard to defend the rights of workers in Scotland and to ensure their concerns are heard at the heart of the government in Scotland.
“In Scotland they have busted the myth that Labour is the best party to represent workers. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, Plaid Cymru can do the same here in Wales.”