- 7 updates
Labour's Leighton Andrews has claimed that he's looking forward to fighting Leanne Wood in the Rhondda at the next Assembly election. He said that she can expect a similar defeat to when she last fought the constituency in a Westminster election.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood explains to our Political Editor Adrian Masters why she's not intending to contest Rhondda in 2016 with the safety-net of a regional list seat but won't rule it out if the UK Government changes the rules.
Leanne Wood will now have to go through the process of formally applying to become Plaid Cymru's candidate for the the Rhondda Assembly constituency. The party is about to begin the process of selecting its 40 constituency candidates. Nominations for the regional lists will open later.
That gives Leanne Wood more time to decide if she wants the insurance policy of also standing in South Wales Central. Labour banned that practice, when it was in power at Westminster, complaining that it 'turned losers into winners'. But the present UK government says it will change the law.
Leanne Wood says that for now she in proceeding on the assumption that the ban will stay in place but will consider her options if the law is changed.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has followed her decision last year that she would lead by example and fight a constituency seat in 2016 by announcing that she will contest the Rhondda. "Home is where the heart is", she said. "Growing up, where I grew up has shaped me personally and politically".
Since her initial decision, the UK government has announced that it wants to change the law so Assembly candidates can fight both constituency and list seats. But Leanne Wood made no mention of the option of also defending her regional list seat and only giving it up if she wins in the Rhondda.
Plaid Cymru held the Rhondda constituency in the first Assembly but it is now held for Labour by the Education Minister Leighton andrews. He has a 6,739 majority, polling more than twice as many votes as the Plaid Cymru candidate in 2011.
Leanne Wood has fought the Rhondda before, twice standing for Westminster. During her 1997 election campaign, she was pictured with Plaid Cymru's candidate in neighbouring Cynon Valley, Alun Davies. He's now Labour AM for Blaenau Gwent and has just become a cabinet minister.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood will fight the Rhondda at the next Welsh election. She's just announced her decision as part of a high-risk strategy by Plaid to win the constituencies it needs if it's ever to move beyond being an opposition party in the future.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood will mark the first anniversary of her election to the top job by setting out five ways of transforming the economy. There's speculation that she'll also use the occasion to make a long-awaited announcement about where she intends to fight the next Welsh election.
Leanne Wood has already said she'll contest a constituency seat in 2016. Click here to see why that's such a significant statement. Speculation aside, her speech will follow up on her leadership pledge by focusing exclusively on the economy and ways to create jobs.
She'll set out five areas that the party where the party thinks Welsh Government intervention could help. They are:
- Connecting the nation - better rail and road links, better use of harbours, improved IT neworks
- Re-localising the local - making sure all public organisations buy more products and services as locally as possible
- National Energy Agency for Wales - to develop new projects and keep profits in Wales
- Welsh financial system - including a publicly-owned Bank of Wales to invest in small businesses
- Re-balancing Britain - including changing the way Wales is funded and devolving the welfare system to Wales