Plaid Cymru : Adam Price to formally resign as leader in the Senedd, so what happens next?

It's the last time we'll see Adam Price as Plaid Cymru's leader in the Senedd before he formally resigns

Adam Price is expected formally to resign later today after taking part in his final First Minister’s Questions as leader of Plaid Cymru.

He announced last week that he would quit following a report which set out a “toxic culture” within the party and failures by the leadership to deal with complaints of bullying, misogyny and sexual harassment. 

It's led to First Minister Mark Drakeford writing to Welsh Labour members to highlight how to make complaints and is looking at other moves such as compulsory training. 

Welsh Conservatives say they too are looking at the Plaid Cymru report to see which parts should apply to them. 

  • What happens next?

Today’s session in the Senedd will be Adam Price’s final public task as leader. Once he formally resigns as leader, the process of transferring responsibilities, staff and other legal matters including notifying the Electoral Commission will conclude.

On Wendesday morning, Llŷr Gruffydd will formally take over as interim leader, a post he was confirmed in at a meeting of Plaid Cymru’s National Council at the weekend. 

A leadership contest has also begun with nominations set to close on 16th June. 

  • What have Plaid Cymru members made of the last week?

Speaking to ITV Wales’ Sharp End programme, Mr Gruffydd said that the next stage of dealing with Plaid Cymru’s problem will be to “engage with … external experts.”

He said, “there has been an independent element looking at some of our processes and procedures and one of the recommendations in the report, in fact that probably impinges on a number of the recommendations, is to now engage with these external experts so that we can be confident that the process is not only run professionally, but also bring that sort of independent element as well from which is sourced from from outside of the party. 

Llŷr Gruffydd speaking to Rob Osborne on Sharp End on Monday

“So you know, these are things that we are implementing and we are working towards putting all those pieces in place and this is what I underlined to the staff. This has been underlined to members at a National Council by the Chief Executive, the chair and others,.

“We're on a journey, you know, and actually, I suppose never ends does it because there's always more that you can and you should do and that's a lesson that we've learned the hard way.”

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams also told Sharp End that he thinks outside legal experts and even the police may now need to be brought in as part of the process of dealing with the party’s culture. 

Conservative's Tom Giffard MS and Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP appearing on Sharp End on Monday

He said, “I think so, if that's what's warranted by the evidence. I think we have to follow what's been said in the reports and also, obviously the wishes of the victims of some of this activity. 

“If that's what's needed, that's what will be done. And certainly I think we have to listen to the victims as far as that is concerned. 

“We have a HR process going on … and that's been going on for quite some time. Perhaps that could be extended and bring in other people apart from HR experts, people who have knowledge of the law, and they think we are quite open to those sorts of suggestions. After all, why wouldn't we?” 

  • What impact has the Plaid Cymru scandal had on other parties?

Other political parties have also begun considering whether or not they need to review their own processes and cultures. 

Welsh Government minister Lynne Neagle told the programme that the First Minister has written to members to let them know how they can make any complaints. 

She said, “Obviously all political parties, I think, in the light of the events of the last few weeks need to look again at the culture within our parties and to make sure that we're all doing absolutely everything we can to make sure that our own parties are a safe, supportive place for everyone. 

“The First Minister wrote out to all party members at the weekend reemphasising how members can make complaints if they've got concerns about anybody's behaviour, but also reiterating the steps that we are going to take as Labour Senedd members around things like compulsory training, because we all have a responsibility to do everything that we can in this regard.”

Lynne Neagle says the First Minister has advised the Welsh Labour party how they can voice any concerns

Meanwhile the Welsh Conservative Tom Giffard said that “I think what our party needs to do next is look at Nerys Evans’ report and work out which bits are obviously applicable to us. 

“There are a lot of recommendations in there that are aimed at Plaid Cymru, the sheer volume of recommendations suggest that it's a problem for Plaid Cymru, but there won't be things that are alien to us or to the Labour Party or any others.”

  • What do we know about who the next leader will be?

Within Plaid Cymru members will now be asked to choose a new leader. It has to be one of the party’s Senedd Members.

Adam Price and Llŷr Gruffydd are ruled out of the contest, as is Rhys ab Owen who remains suspended from the group pending a Standards Commissioner investigation. 

Elin Jones, who is the Senedd’s Llywydd or Presiding Officer and who stood in a previous leadership contest has said she won’t stand this time. 

Rhun ap Iorwerth has hinted he may run, while Elin Jones has ruled herself out and Rhys ab Owen cannot run while suspended from the party

Ynys Môn MS Rhun ap Iorwerth is currently aiming to take the island’s Westminster seat which would rule him out of being leader. 

But he told his Facebook followers that he’s thinking about standing. 

In a Facebook live he said “I have had many people ask me 'is this something that you would do? Lead the party.' And others have said 'will you lead the party?' 

“There's no big announcement, but I just wanted to be as honest as I can, that's what's good about these Facebook live sessions, I wanted to be as honest as I can and say of course I do have to think about it. I want the best for Ynys Mon. I want the best for Wales.”