Rhun ap Iorwerth to be confirmed new Plaid Cymru leader

Rhun ap Iorwerth conference speech March 2023
Rhun ap Iorwerth is set to be elected Plaid Cymru leader unopposed Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Rhun ap Iorwerth will be confirmed as the new leader of Plaid Cymru today.

Officially today is the deadline for nominations in the party's leadership contest but no other candidate has come forward, meaning he will be elected unopposed and confirmed at an event in Cardiff Bay.

The leadership contest was sparked by the resignation of former leader Adam Price which in turn followed the publication of a report alleging serious failings over a period of years to deal with allegations of bullying, misogyny and harassment.

Former leader of the party, Adam Price, stepped down in May.

After Mr. Price quit, Llŷr Gruffydd was chosen as interim leader until a permanent replacement was elected.

Now it's clear that the permanent leader will be Rhun ap Iorwerth who is Plaid Cymru's health spokesperson in the Senedd.

He became the Senedd Member for Ynys Môn in 2013 and had been selected to contest the seat in the next UK General Election.

However Plaid Cymru's leaders must be drawn from the group of MSs so he will now stand down as prospective candidate and the party will choose another.

Mr ap Iorwerth was always the favourite to succeed Adam Price, having come second to him in 2018 but it quickly became apparent that no other MS could match his support.

However he could face problems in the future. He's seen by some as on the right wing of the party although he insists he is a "politician of the left."

Rhun ap Iorwerth is currently the Party's Health spokesperson.

And two fellow MSs went on the record last week criticising the lack of a woman candidate and calling for a joint leadership model in the future with at least one leader being a woman.

Although they said they would not stand themselves and that they would support the next leader, Siân Gwenllian and Sioned Williams said that "We will campaign to introduce a new model of joint leadership in the future which would be more inclusive and ensure equality" and hoped it will be discussed in the party's autumn conference.

They've been criticised by others in the party for not pushing for co-leadership before now and for undermining Rhun ap Iorwerth's time in the job even before he's begun.

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