Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price to review party's complaints process amid 'toxic atmosphere' claims

Sharp End Presenter Rob Osborne addresses claims of a toxic atmosphere within Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has drafted in a former Senedd member to review the party's complaints process.

Speaking to ITV Wales' Sharp End, Mr Price refused to say whether he'd step down after allegations of a "toxic culture" brewing under his stewardship.

Instead, the Plaid leader and MS for Carmarthen East has set up a working group under the National Executive chaired by Nerys Evans, which will publish its recommendations in Spring 2023.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price would raise income tax in order to pay for wage increases for striking workers, he said. Credit: PA

It has been claimed that Plaid Cymru harbours a "toxic atmosphere" with claims of a culture where people are afraid to speak out growing under Mr Price's leadership.

"If that's anyone's perception within the party then we need to understand why that is and we are endeavouring to do so," he told Sharp End.

"We've set out a number of different ways in which people within the party can confidentially share their perspective, share their experience ,and we're working with an independent HR consultancy to identify issues that we need to address and improve upon.

"We've also created a working group in order to drive this work forward, looking at what we need to do in terms of our structures, our culture, our processes.

"We're very clear about the party that we want to be aligned with our values. We want to be an inclusive party, a non-discriminatory party. We want to be a party where critical challenge is possible and done in a respectful manner."

A fresh start with a fresh leader?

Mr Price refused to address claims the party needs a fresh leader in order to have a fresh start.

"I'm focused on everything that is at the heart of what we do," he said, "which is making a difference to the lives of people in Wales through the co-operation agreement and the tens of thousands of children receiving free school meals in the midst of these challenging times as a result of that.

"The work that we're doing in solidarity with those workers that are striking in order to get a decent pay rise, holding the Welsh Government to account.

"The collective leadership of Plaid Cymru isn't going anywhere because we are actually making a difference to people's lives every day."

Looking ahead to 2023, Mr Price hopes that the nature of Welsh politics will shift.

He added: "The growing self-confidence that we feel as a nation, the sense that we can make decisions for ourselves - the best way to do that would be for the Welsh Government to use those powers and levers that they have, limited as they be, they do at least give us the power to protect our public services and provide many, many families the decent pay rise that they deserve."

The Plaid Cymru leader outlined that amid the nurses strike, the party would raise taxes in order to give NHS workers a pay rise.

He said: "We've seen their pay go backwards over a decade.

"I think the only way we can protect public services is invest in the workforce that delivers them, otherwise you have low morale and stressed workers that eventually leave the NHS."

  • For more on this story, you can catch up on the latest episode of Sharp End here.