Labour blasts 'hypocritical' Plaid Cymru after Leanne Wood First Minister bid

Posted On: 
12th May 2016

Labour has hit out at “hypocritical” Plaid Cymru after Leanne Wood made an audacious bid to become Welsh First Minister. 

Leanne Wood and Carwyn Jones tied 29-29 in a vote on who would be the next Welsh First Minister
Credit: 
PA Images

Yesterday a vote in the Welsh Assembly resulted in a 29-29 tie between Ms Wood and Carwyn Jones, the Labour leader in Wales who has been First Minister since 2009.

Ms Wood’s attempt relied on the votes of Conservative and Ukip Assembly Members, but Plaid has denied making a formal deal with those parties to support their bid.

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A party statement yesterday left open the possibility that talks had taken place, however.

“Since that time [Tuesday], and as far as Plaid Cymru is aware, there have been no formal discussions, agreements or deals pursued between any party,” it read.

Plaid won 12 of the 60 AMs in last week’s election, while Labour took 29, the Conservatives 11, and Ukip seven. The sole Liberal Democrat, Kirsty Williams, supported Mr Jones yesterday.

Labour has hit out at Plaid Cymru’s tactics, accusing Ms Wood of “prancing about wanting to be First Minister” without having a programme for government that could attract majority support.

“What is unbelievable is the hypocritical behaviour of Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood,” said Shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffith.  

“Here’s the leader who was standing on the platform, claiming to be more anti-austerity than everybody else in the leadership debates only 18 months ago and now actively seeking support from the Conservatives and Ukip.”

Welsh MP and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith also hit out at Plaid on Twitter:

 

But Plaid’s MP Jonathan Edwards rejected Labour’s criticism:

 

The votes were tied at 29 each because the presiding officer and deputy do not vote.

Talks between Mr Jones and Ms Wood are expected to continue today to try to resolve the dispute.

Another vote on who will be First Minister is expected to be held next week, according to the BBC.