Simon Thomas has pulled out of the contest to become the next leader of Plaid Cymru. He’s conceded that as someone who has been in the Assembly for less than a year he had “a lot of ground to cover and make up.” His previous experience as an MP was of course double-edged, given that it ended with the loss of the Ceredigion Westminster constituency to the Liberal Democrats.
He is now backing the Ceredigion AM, Elin Jones, as “a leader who will focus on building our nation’s economy; sustaining its environment and growing the support for independence in a credible way.” He will support her as her deputy on a joint ticket, although that would mean a two people at the top of the party with their political base in the same part ofWales.
Simon Thomas says one thing is for certain, “Plaid Cymru will not achieve government or electoral success by playing Fisher Price politics with people’s hopes and dreams.” Fisher Price are of course a children’s toy manufacturer and it would no doubt be quite wrong to spot a sideswipe at Adam Price, also a former Plaid MP, who is now fishing in Welsh politics from the other side of the pond since his move to Harvard University.
Adam Price is backing Leanne Wood, who appears to have caught up with Elin Jones, the early favourite in the Plaid Cymru leadership race. The other candidate is Dafydd Elis Thomas, who in the 1980s enjoyed a mostly friendly rivalry with Dafydd Wigley. It was even livelier than relations between Simon Thomas and Adam Price became during their time together atWestminster.
Lord Wigley led the party twice and Lord Elis-Thomas has already had one spell in charge and is hoping to match his old rival’s record.