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Leanne Wood says she had to deal with ‘more than her fair share of narcissists’ while Plaid Cymru leader

03 Dec 2021 3 minute read
Leanne Wood. Picture by Plaid Cymru

Leanne Wood has said that one of the main stresses of being Plaid Cymru leader was dealing with internal strife within the party – including “more than my fair share of trying to deal with narcissists”.

Speaking with Adrian Masters on Face to Face she said that the “points of stress” while leader were really the “internal problems”.

“When you’re dealing day in day out with people who just seem to want to wreck the organisation and the project without contributing anything positively, that stuff can be really draining and energy-sapping. And so that aspect of leadership I don’t miss at all,” she said.

“Politics attracts people for different reasons you know? Because it’s a game of power it sometimes can attract narcissists. And I felt that certainly in my time as leader I had more than my fair share of trying to deal with narcissists.

“And the problem is, you know, you’re tied up with complaints procedures, these things take time, and a lot of effort and resource goes into it – when it really should be going on the things that are important, the campaign and on the issues that matter to people out on the ground.”

Leanne Wood was the leader of Plaid Cymru between 2012 and 2018, before being ousted in a leadership challenge by the current leader Adam Price.

Her time as leader also saw two members of the Senedd, Lord Dafydd Ellis-Thomas and Neil McEvoy, leave and be ejected from the party.

She went on to say that she considered her time as a leader a success electorally but “in terms of party discipline” she was not successful.

Asked by Adrain Maters how dealing with internal problems within Plaid Cymru affected her as a human being, she said it was “just horrible”.

“You’ve seen some of the ways that politics is discussed on social media,” she said. “And when that’s happening within the organisation that you’re trying to run and lead it can be quite debilitating.

“Thankfully that seems to be a problem that’s in the past for Plaid Cymru now. I hope that remains the case.

“But in other organisations – for example in organisations around the independence movement, for example, there have serious, serious problems with just certain individuals, bad-faith actors who just seem to come in with a wrecking ball and they’re not there to work together with others and build a movement, which is what I’m all about.

“They can cause serious damage and it does cause mental health problems for people as well. I’ve seen many many activists, particularly women, walk away from politics altogether because they can’t cope with that kind of behaviour. It’s horrible.”


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Morris Dean
Morris Dean
11 months ago

Chwarae teg, dwi’n dwli ar Leanne 👏

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
11 months ago

I know this is a bit of a cheat, but I like it all the same. (You have to make allowances for the fact that ‘s’ and ‘d’ are next to each other on the keyboard).

So … an anagram of Leanne Wood is:

“Wales’ No. one”

(Awaiting the pedants and Leanne haters to jump on me now.)

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
11 months ago

She’s not wrong.

Finn
Finn
11 months ago

Who is she referring to? Neil McAvoy for one.

Who in Yes Cymru though?

Gill
Gill
11 months ago
Reply to  Finn

Says the woman constantly taking selfies of herself “wild swimming”.. and posting on social media. Who cares luv, so you go for a dip? Lucky you, the rest of us have to work on a daily basis

Marc
Marc
11 months ago
Reply to  Gill

“ Says the woman constantly taking selfies of herself ” yeah why don’t she take selfies of someone else for a change!

Pob lwc
Pob lwc
11 months ago
Reply to  Finn

She’s referring to herself, as usual.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
11 months ago

Genuine question: can someone please tell me why PC turned on her? I always liked her so this has puzzled me. She was certainly never afraid to stand up for her beliefs

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Electoral liability, maybe?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

She was at one time anything but an electoral liability, but her increasing tendency to push wokish issues at the expense of local and regional problems in Wales seemed to be putting people off.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
11 months ago

“she considered her time as a leader a success electorally”…….is she having a laugh?!?!

Jack
Jack
11 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

She thought Plaid winning 12 seats in 2016 was a ‘new dawn for Wales’ but 13 seats in 2021 was a ‘step backwards’.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Plaid fell to single digit support in the polls under LW’s leadership. In electoral terms, she was catastrophic.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
11 months ago

As you well know that was in a poll for westminster voting intentions – polls where plaid have historically always struggled. Ive corrected you about this before on here yet you still persist with these baseless smears ☹️. In point of fact plaid actually increased its number of MPs from 3 to 4 under leanne’s leadership.

Jack
Jack
11 months ago

Ironic of her to complain about narcissists. I think Leanne Wood is the biggest narcissist in Welsh politics. When she started lecturing people of colour on what ‘real racism’ is during the summer, it showed she has no self awareness at all.

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack

I confess to having missed that most recent blunder to which you refer. There again perhaps she had a preview of the anti racism report within certain Welsh institutions where there was a serious attempt to dilute the very reasons they exist. If Leanne had caught on to that then maybe she was right but could have expressed it better. To me she was a 50/50 performer having been higher until about 2015/16. Then her attention seems to have been diverted – bad advice, dodgy influencers in the pack behind her ?. One thing for sure the changes made in… Read more »

Jack
Jack
11 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

She defended a post by Desolation Radio comparing Welsh Labour to the Taliban. When people of colour said this was inappropriate and racist, she said it criticising Desolation Radio was ‘cancel culture’ and that ‘real racism comes from the far-right and not people like her’

Grayham Jones
11 months ago

Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 if that’s upsetting the English in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 that’s no problem they got to start fighting for the young people in wales who can’t get on the housing market because of incomers and start fighting for no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and stop being involved with British politics and start fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Ron Jones
Ron Jones
11 months ago

I was always so embarrassed to be Welsh whenever she opened her mouth. I am starting to wonder though whether Welsh independence would be a good idea simply because it might force everyone to get off their arses and stop living off the State

CJPh
CJPh
11 months ago
Reply to  Ron Jones

Despite the fact that you may get pelters for a comment like this, I urge those of differing political persuasions to champion your perspective. However you come to a conclusion like this, it is the conclusion that matters. There are plenty of people who want a strong social safety net, who want ‘work’ to be obsolete, who want UBI that also want indy – your best chance, as you allude to, is via an independent Welsh state. This comment is proof that our movement towards a free Cymru is stronger than ever. Could I ask: if you were to describe… Read more »

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