Labour have echoed Dafydd Elis Thomas' attack on his party, with one Welsh Government source claiming that Plaid Cymru have proved that they are happy to be stooges for the Tories. Meanwhile Plaid say that the political fallout over what they call hospital downgrading is far from over,
This is not about playing politics; it is about taking responsibility for important decisions that affect us all. Today, we invited the Health Minister to clear her name, but she failed to take that opportunity. It is clear from the correspondence that the Welsh Government, local health boards, and the NHS confederation each played a significant part in the drafting of the report on hospital reconfiguration, yet the Minister has denied this. The Health Minister is willing to take the credit for the opening of new services, but fails to take responsibility for the closure of old ones.
The Welsh Conservatives have promised to maintain 'fierce opposition to the downgrading of district general hospitals' despite the government's 29-28 victory, defeating the vote of no confidence on the Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths.
The Minister’s performance today remains utterly unconvincing. Responses to many of the questions posed were completely contrary to the evidence provided. Serious questions persist on a number of significant issues and explanations on important matters relating to the report’s independence remain as clear as mud. It is disappointing that the joint motion has fallen in this way, despite continued cross-party concerns on the case for change report’s independence.
Plaid Cymru has criticised the Welsh Government's claim that local health boards have made a 'remarkable achievement' by meeting financial targets. Plaid’s health spokesperson, Elin Jones said:
The remarkable achievement will be when LHBs are able to break even without having to close services or rely on additional funding like the £145m they had over the past financial year. Plaid Cymru wants to see an NHS that doesn’t have to spend the last 3 months of every financial year in funding crisis having to cancel operations and close services.
Dafydd Elis-Thomas has issued the following statement after being moved from Energy to Rural Affairs:
This is a dream appointment for me, as all aspects of this portfolio are reflected in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which I represent, and the county of Conwy where I live. I am also delighted to continue to chair the important Assembly Committee on Environment and Sustainability which includes scrutiny of the Government’s policy on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
I must also take this opportunity to thank my constituency party and Plaid members, particularly in Dwyfor Merionnydd, for their nomination and generous support in the recent Plaid leadership campaign, and I am grateful to our new leader Leanne Wood for this opportunity to serve and support her as part of her Shadow Cabinet.
Moving Dafydd Elis-Thomas from the Energy portfolio is clearly a direct result of his vocal support for a new nuclear power station on Anglesey during the leadership election campaign. Another rival, Elin Jones, retains her Health portfolio and early contender Simon Thomas also keeps Education.
- Leader: Leanne Wood AM
- Economy & Energy: Alun Ffred Jones AM
- Health: Elin Jones AM
- Education: Simon Thomas AM
- Rural Affairs, Fisheries & Food: Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM
- Finance and the Constitution: Ieuan Wyn Jones AM
- Europe, Local Government, Communities and Transport: Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM
- Heritage, Welsh Language and Sport: Bethan Jenkins AM
- Social Services, children and Equal Opportunities: Lindsay Whittle AM
- Environment, Housing and Regeneration: Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM
- Business Manager and Chief Whip: Jocelyn Davies AM
In an otherwise minor reshuffle of her front bench team, Leanne Wood's main change is to move her leadership rival Dafydd Elis-Thomas from Environment and Energy to Rural Affairs. He'd been outspoken in his support for building a new nuclear power station on Anglesey, something Ms Wood opposes.
Labour says comments made by Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones in the wake of today's decision not to go ahead with a badger cull are 'grossly irresponsible.' As Rural Affairs minister, Ms Jones had overseen the earlier cull plans, and reacted to this afternoon's announcement in the Senedd.
Farmers will now have to decide how best to protect their cattle and I for one would not blame them for anything they do.
Labour Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has herself responded by calling on Plaid Cymru's new leader Leanne Wood to take action.
Leanne Wood should now publicly distance herself from Elin Jones’ grossly irresponsible comments and formally ask her to withdraw them.
Leanne Wood has won the Plaid Cymru leadership vote. Ieuan Wyn Jones stood down after a poor result in last year's Assembly election.Read the full story ›
The announcement of the new leader of Plaid Cymru draws closer, with the counting of ballot papers set to begin at 12pm.
Outgoing Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones talks about what qualities he thinks a party leader should have, in an interview with ITV Wales.
"The key thing is to be yourself and not to be something you're not, and actually to develop your own style" he says.
"Over time I think people respect that a lot more than if you try artificially to be somebody you're not. "