Socialist Resistance welcome the victory of Leanne Wood, socialist, feminist and republican, as the leader of Plaid Cymru in the results of a membership ballot announced on March 15. Leanne won a 55.1% majority against the favourite Ellin Jones who got 41% in a second round run off after the defeat of former party leader Lord Ellis-Thomas. We supported Leanne’s leadership campaign and welcome the new direction for Plaid which she had set out in the first interview as leader with the Western Mail:
“Clearly the membership of Plaid Cymru want the party to move in a different direction now and I’m looking forward to working with people to take the party in that new direction.”
“ I think the work that we do now is around the prioritisation of the economy and of jobs. We have got deep structural problems around the Welsh economy and so I think that Plaid Cymru needs to put together a long-term economic plan to turn around the situation and that does involve over the long term working for independence for Wales because I am convinced our problems are structural and as long as we are tied in to an economy that treats us as a periphery then we are not able to reach our full potential.
“I think most members of Plaid Cymru know where I stand and what I am concerned about and people have voted for it. People have voted for a set of policies that is different to what we’re used to, and they have voted for it with quite a large majority
“I have always said, you know, that you can throw these labels and stereotypes but really I reflect the politics that grass roots members of Plaid Cymru support in annual conferences year after year.
“We are a party of the left, we reflect the Welsh radical tradition and we will continue to do this under my leadership.”