Another Plaid Cymru politician rules themselves out of leadership contest

Mabon ap Gwynfor official photo
Mabon ap Gwynfor has been the MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd since 2021.

Another Plaid Cymru Senedd Member has ruled themselves out of the party's leadership contest.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, who has been the MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd since 2021 says he feels he needs to "earn [his] place as a Senedd Member first."

So far only the Ynys Môn MS Rhun ap Iorwerth has declared that he will be a candidate in the election to choose a successor to Adam Price, who quit earlier this month after a critical report which revealed a “toxic culture” of bullying and harassment within Plaid Cymru.

Any others who want to stand have to put their name forward by June 16, but there are signs that Rhun ap Iorwerth could be unopposed.

Mabon ap Gwynfor posted a picture of himself and the only-declared candidate Rhun ap Iorwerth

Mabon ap Gwynfor had been said to be mulling standing in the contest but has now tweeted: "Thank you so much to each and everyone who urged me to put my name forwards for the role. Your words of support mean so much to me but I won't be putting my name forward. "I'm still a new member of the Senedd and must earn my place as a Senedd Member first."This role is time consuming and, being a husband and a father, it's already taking over my family time. Being a leader is not only a full time job, but is also all consuming, and I would have no family time. My family deserves at least some of me right now. "I am proud of my Plaid colleagues and have complete faith that we will work together to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Wales."

There are 12 members of the Senedd group because the 13th, Rhys ab Owen, remains suspended while a Standards Commissioner takes place.

Former leader Adam Price is out of the running while a rule change meant that interim leader Llŷr Gruffydd also could not stand.

The Senedd's Llywydd, or Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, who stood in a previous election, ruled herself out early on in the contest.

On Twitter, Delyth Jewell said: "Diolch to those who've asked me about the Plaid Cymru leadership. Your kind words are humbling. I will not be putting my name forward."

Heledd Fychan tweeted: "Timing not right for me as still very new to the Senedd and lots to do in the region!"

I understand that Luke Fletcher has decided against making a bid this time around while Peredur Owen Griffiths has tweeted his support for Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Those who haven't ruled themselves out publicly include Sioned Williams, the MS for South Wales West, Siân Gwenllian, MS for Arfon, and Cefin Campbell the Mid and West Wales MS.

The latter two are the designated members for Plaid Cymru's co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government, effectively Plaid Cymru's and today have sent members a joint email celebrating the agreement's achievements which has also been published by Nation Cymru. Could that be a coded message that they're planning to stand as a joint ticket?

Cefin Campbell recently told S4C's Y Byd yn ei Le which is produced by ITV Wales: "I'm not going to be drawn into that conversation. As they say, a week is a long time in politics. Those conversations (on leadership) are confidential and I won't make a comment on that."

Nominations in the leadership election close on June 16 with a permanent leader expected to be chosen by the start of the summer.