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Wigley puts £1.2 billion demand at centre of Plaid's election campaign

Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley has urged voters to back the party's demand for Wales to have parity with Scotland. Lord Wigley, who's co-ordinating Plaid's Westminster Election campaign, claims that the Welsh Government would get an extra £1.2 billion a year from Westminster if Wales was funded on the same basis as Scotland.

We are sending from this Conference and from this election in Wales, a clear unmistakeable demand to Westminster that the people of Wales insist on parity with Scotland in the allocation of financial resources in the new Parliament. It is only Plaid Cymru’s programme in this election that puts such a message centre stage. So we appeal to the people of Wales - to every single voter in Wales - to consider just how their own personal and family self-interest requires us – compels us –to secure adequate resources for healthcare, education and all the other devolved services.

– Plaid Cymru Election Co-ordinator Lord Wigley

He said that the St David's day agreement on devolution announced by the Westminster coalition was "a bitterly disappointing statement". He contrasted it with the "brave words" of Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb last October, when the cabinet minister said he determined that Wales should not play second fiddle. Lord Wigley said that instead there had been a race to the bottom, with "every recalcitrant London-centric politician" wielding a veto..

The conference closed with speeches from Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd and from the woman that the party has picked to replace him in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts. Mr Llwyd admitted that there had been some talk by Plaid members that Westminster politics is too male, pale and stale. He said he wouldn't make a joke about his own appearance but predicted that his female successor would be part of a bigger group of MPs "making the case for Wales" in a hung parliament.

Plaid's caution over devolution plans

Plaid Cymru says it can only give a cautious welcome to the Silk Commission's report, claiming that it "falls short" of signalling real progress on actually securing more meaningful powers for Wales.

Having made great strides on the devolution journey in recent decades, it feels as if Wales is now sadly being dragged along at an agonisingly slow pace of progress. Plaid Cymru believes that all decisions affecting the people of Wales should be made in Wales. That is why the issues dealt with in this new report - justice, policing, energy and more - form the vital building blocks of a stronger, more prosperous nation.

While we welcome the fact that the Commission has accepted our view that policing should be devolved, it is frustrating to see little progress being made on creating a Welsh legal jurisdiction. Limiting the Assembly's powers over planning consent for energy developments to projects generating 350 mw or less is also a concern. With control over the Crown Estates also being denied, Wales is in the position of having a wealth of natural resources but limited power to utilise them to benefit our people. No energy-rich nation should have thousands of households living in fuel poverty as we do.

As far as broadcasting is concerned, we welcome the proposal to devolve the funding and responsibility for S4C, but believe that the Commission has ignored the opportunities for Wales that would arise if broadcasting was fully devolved to the Assembly. This report clearly shows that our current devolution settlement is confused, complex and unsatisfactory.

– Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Leader Elfyn Llwyd MP


Elfyn Llwyd says he'd consider Cardiff Bay role in future

Plaid Cymru's Parliamentary Leader Elfyn Llwyd says he would consider accepting a post in a future Welsh Government if it were offered to him. He's been an MP since 1992 but has announced that he'll step down at the next UK Election.

In an interview for tonight's Sharp End programme he tells our Political Editor Adrian Masters that a role in Cardiff Bay is not 'part of his thinking' but that if he were offered the post of Counsel General he'd 'certainly give very serious consideration to it.'

You can watch Sharp End online here.

Plaid's Parliamentary leader to step down

Plaid Cymru's Parliamentary Leader, Elfyn Llwyd, is to stand down as MP after 21 years at the next UK General Election. He said:

I have decided not to put my name forward to seek re-nomination for the 2015 General Election.

I am hugely grateful to the people of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Nant Conwy for their support and loyalty over the years.

It has been the highest honour to serve my constituency, party and nation, but the time has come to turn my hand to other work and pursue other interests that I have.

Playing a role in such an exciting period in the history of Wales and Plaid Cymru has been an absolute privilege. I have every confidence that the party will go from strength to strength and will continue to put the interests of the people and communities of Wales above all else.

– Elfyn Llwyd MP, Plaid Cymru


Queen's Speech 'disappointing' for Wales - Plaid

Plaid Cymru's Parliamentary Leader Elfyn Llwyd says the programme of laws set out in the Queen's speech is a missed opportunity to devolve further power to Wales.

Overall, this was a disappointing Queen’s Speech, mainly for its failure to deliver a new Government of Wales Act that would have paved the way for granting Wales much-needed job-creating powers.

The cross-party Silk Commission recommended the devolution of these powers to the Welsh Assembly, but yet again the progress of our nation is being hampered by the divisions and lethargy of the London government.

We are also disappointed not to see a significant transfer of powers in fields such as energy, jobsearch functions, justice and policing - all long-standing Plaid Cymru policies that would address the UK's democratic deficit and deliver better public services for the people of Wales.

– Elfyn Llwyd MP, Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Leader