Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins has said she won't be in the Senedd Chamber for this afternoon's tributes to Margaret Thatcher. She's the third member of Plaid to confirm they're boycotting the session.
Mid and West Wales AM Simon Thomas and former Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas have both said they won't attend. Party leader Leanne Wood says it's appropriate for her to make a contribution.
Bethan Jenkins says that while she believes it's right that AMs are allowed to mark the former Prime Minister's death, she doesn't feel able to take part because 'the adverse impact of her legacy is still being sharply felt in the community I grew up in.' She added
I deeply believe that while Mrs Thatcher may have changed Britain, she did not ‘save’ it, as some have claimed. She changed the Wales I grew up and live in for the worse. Her capitalist mantra of creative destruction only extended as far as the second part - destruction - for many of our communities as we knew and understood them. Her willingness to dismiss what happened in those communities as collateral damage, as she conducted personalised conflicts against the left, is not the kind of quality I expect in a Prime Minister.
– Bethan Jenkins AM, Plaid Cymru
Margaret Thatcher inspired me to get into politics. Not only because I fundamentally opposed her views, but because I realised she was not a feminist. I believe that it is important for female politicians to also be champions of women where possible. It is a huge shame that she never took the opportunity to bring other women up alongside her while in Government. Instead, she left a tarnished legacy when she should have been supporting women into public life.