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Dafydd Elis Thomas backed by Plaid constituency party

Members of Plaid Cymru's constituency party in Dwyfor Meirionnydd tonight backed Dafydd Elis Thomas as their candidate in next year's assembly election.

The situation was discussed in a special meeting of senior Plaid officials and constituency members. Credit: ITV News

A meeting in Porthmadog heard from two senior Plaid officials about why the former party leader faces disciplinary action for criticising the present leader Leanne Wood.

A final decision on whether he remains a Plaid Cymru candidate will be taken by the party's national executive.

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  1. Nick Powell

Crunch meeting for Dafydd Elis Thomas

Dafydd Elis Thomas (right) applauds Leanne Wood after she beat him in the Plaid Cymru leadership contest in 2012 Credit: PA

The battle of wills between Plaid Cymru's former leader Dafydd Elis Thomas and the party's current leader Leanne Wood comes to a head tonight at a special meeting of senior Plaid officials and constituency members in Porthmadog.

Lord Elis Thomas' refusal to always toe the party line has led to friction since Leanne Wood became Plaid's leader in 2012. Relations were briefly patched up after he faced disciplinary action for missing a vote in the Senedd but matters have come to ahead since the Westminster election in May.

He publicly criticised the election campaign for prioritising parity with Scotland rather than focussing on specifically Welsh issues, criticism that those close to the Plaid leadership say would have been more appropriately made in private. Friends of the Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM say he's found the party hierarchy unwilling to listen to his concerns.

Plaid Cymru's executive meets on Saturday and has the power to cancel Dafydd Elis Thomas' selection as candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in next year's Assembly election. It would be an extraordinary and potentially damaging step to take against a man who was first elected as MP for the old Merionethshire seat in 1974.

Tonight's meeting, where he is expected to put his case, will test whether he still has the support of his local party. If he has its backing, the members of the party executive would have to ask themselves if they could really risk a split with the activists in Plaid Cymru's safest seat.

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Pembroke teen pulled from water one day after turning 18

Tributes have been paid to a teenager who died at Mill Pond in Pembrokeshire the day after his 18th birthday.

Robert Mansfield, from Pembroke, is understood to have got into difficulties after entering the water in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Robert Mansfield died after entering the body of water near Pembroke Castle. Credit: Family / Dyfed Powys Police

It is with deepest sadness we can confirm that our beloved Rob tragically died on the morning of Monday 27th July 2015. He had spent the previous day enjoying himself surrounded by family and friends, as it was his 18th birthday. Rob was a kind and caring lad whom adored his nan, helping her care for his grandad, Tom. He will be missed so much by us and all that knew him.

– Family tribute

Workers' compensation bid given go-ahead in principle

Former coke oven workers who developed cancer and respiratory illnesses have been given the go-ahead in principle to seek compensation.

Almost 200 employees from South Wales, along with others in England, claimed working conditions had caused their health problems.

Kathryn Singh, partner and expert in industrial illness claims at Hugh James solicitors, said: “Today’s hearing is a hugely important stage in getting redress for those affected by illness following exposure to dust and fumes at a number of coking plants around the UK, including South Wales.

“If approved, the case will be listed for a further hearing for case management of the litigation and we are waiting confirmation of the position for a hearing date.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The Government takes this issue very seriously and is doing everything it can to ensure the litigation proceeds as quickly as possible. “

Today's ruling comes after a test case in October 2012 relating to the former Phurnacite plant in the Cynon Valley.

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