Ex-Police and Crime Commissioner leaves Plaid Cymru because of a ‘lack of strategy’
A former Police and Crime Commissioner has left Plaid Cymru because of a “lack of strategy and a lack of success” at the Senedd election.
Arfon Jones, who represented North Wales, has confirmed that he quit the party following the 2021 election in which Plaid was knocked back in many of its target seats, and won 13 seats in the Welsh Parliament. This is compared with 30 for Labour and 16 for the Conservatives.
The ex-police inspector was voted into office on a Plaid Cymru ticket in 2016 – with a 25,000 majority – before stepping down the the following election.
He has previously been critical of Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, saying that he isn’t the “right person” to lead the party.
Arfon Jones told Nation.Cymru: “I had a discussion with the party, with the new Chief Executive and I sent an email to the chair. We were doing a review of the strategy for the 2021 election and I didn’t believe the strategy had been the right one. I decided well, I’m retiring anyway”.
In a previous interview in which he was asked by Golwg360 if Adam Price was the right person to lead Plaid Cymru, he replied: “I don’t think so personally. I know there are some people who still support him but that’s another matter.
“It’s up to the membership to decide on who it wants as a leader. But no, I don’t think he’s the person to move us forward”.
On his party’s performance at the Senedd election, he said: “I don’t think there was a strategy there to tell the truth.
“We haven’t had any support from the centre in Cardiff, and the reason that some candidates did so well was because of their own hard work, and not because of support from the party.
“It’s time for us to have that discussion, and we are unable to have it internally.
“We’ve had a working committee and a national council and the electoral failures haven’t been discussed in either of them.
“I know that Dafydd Trystan (Davies) is investigating these failures and it’s expected that something will be published in September.
“But I think we should have a discussion now before it becomes ‘oh everything is ok’ and we do the same in the next election again.”
Arfon Jones called on Plaid to “devolve resources” to party branches and suggested that it would lead to more success.
He said: “That would enable them to build their own infrastructure.
“We’ve been quite successful in Wrexham through building our own structure, and we’ve done that without a jot of support from Cardiff or the leadership.
“It took two years if not more for Adam Price to visit us as branches in the north east of Wales, and that isn’t good enough.”
Plaid Cymru did not wish to comment on the departure, but a spokesperson has previously said: “The period after an election is an important opportunity for Plaid Cymru to reflect on the campaign and to look ahead to the local elections in 2022.
“Dafydd Trystan’s review will be supporting that work and we look forward to accepting any constructive recommendations in due course.”
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