Last night Welsh political Twitter was sent into overdrive yet again, as a member of the Welsh Lib Dems tweeted about ‘rumours’ that Plaid Cymru following next years Senedd election would go into coalition with the Conservatives. This ‘rumour’ is completely false, indefensible and completely unworkable in practise.
When Plaid Cymru members challenged these claims, numerous Welsh Lib Dems, one of whom will be a candidate for them at next year’s Senedd election, seemingly doubled down on their claim producing ‘evidence’ from BBC News articles with headlines which supposedly supported their claim.
If you click on those articles however, you would be able to read statement from a Plaid Cymru AM saying they would not work under a Tory FM, and another from a Plaid spokesperson completely ruling the idea out. The spokesperson said Plaid Cymru has "no interest" in talking to the Conservatives, adding further “Plaid Cymru is the only party that offers hope, and Adam Price is the only credible first minister that can bring about change. We have no interest in talking to a party that has starved Wales of funding and is hell-bent on stripping our Senedd of its powers.”
As Plaid Cymru’s candidate in Cardiff Central for next year’s election, I can categorically say if elected, I will not join a coalition with the Conservatives, and I’m sure the vast majority of my colleagues, if not all, would agree with me.
When it was pointed out that to a Welsh Lib Dem that Plaid Cymru had completely ruled it out, they backtracked saying there was still time in a fast-changing situation for things to change. However, given the current circumstances, it’s preposterous Plaid Cymru will look at the Conservative Party in Westminster and the way they have treated Wales during the current crisis and throughout history and suddenly have a change of heart.
At a Westminster level, the Conservatives have undermined Welsh efforts on testing and PPE. Meanwhile, in his most recent conference speech, Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies attacked devolution.
Despite this, other ‘evidence’ to this rumour in recent weeks according to some Welsh Lib Dems has been the fact that both Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives have called for Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething to resign. However, just because two opposition parties happen at some point to agree with on a matter, it doesn’t mean they are in cahoots with each other, rather that they are just simply doing their democratic duty in holding Government accountable.
The record shows, the only time Plaid Cymru have ever done formal deals with other parties has been with Labour between 2007-2011 in the form of a full coalition, and with the Lib Dems themselves in 2019 as part of the Remain Alliance, with the aim of STOPPING the Conservatives from winning. Yes in 2007, there were unsuccessful talks of a ‘rainbow’ coalition between Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Conservatives, and yes you guessed it, the Welsh Lib Dems themselves. However, by now, Plaid Cymru has a completely different leader, NEC, membership base and the political circumstances have completely changed.
Just to be clear, Plaid Cymru’s leadership and membership today wouldn’t countenance the idea of a coalition with the Conservatives. The fact remains however, the only party in recent times to have actually gone into coalition with the Conservatives are the Lib Dems between 2010-2015.
These unsubstantiated rumours are the result of typical Lib Dem falsehoods and dirty tactics. It’s hypocritical of them, and show’s a shocking lack of self-awareness, considering they themselves have worked with Labour twice in the Senedd (2000-2003 and 2016-Today), and the Conservatives at Westminster, and that they are a party in favour of proportional representation which would inevitably require deals between parties.
I myself, am in favour of Proportional Representation as well, and believe, where possible political parties should work together for the common good. However, it’s clear that Plaid Cymru and the current Conservative Party, have little, if nothing in common to form a working relationship with.
It’s a shame that in these trying times the Welsh Lib Dems seek to distract us all with petty falsehoods in an attempt to make their once great non-conformist radical Welsh party relevant again. Moving forward, they should concentrate on helping out teachers and pupils during the Covid-19 crisis, as opposed to playing party politics. I hope the evidence provided in this article clears up the matter once and for all, Plaid Cymru won’t be joining in a coalition with the Conservatives, and that whenever the Welsh Lib Dems, or even Welsh Labour, try and push this unworkable fantasy lie of theirs forward again, voters can be pointed in this articles direction.