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Plaid Cymru appoints election strategist as new Chief Executive

16 Jul 2021 3 minute read
Carl Harris, Plaid Cymru Chief Executive

Plaid Cymru has appointed an election strategist as its new Chief Executive.

Carl Harris, the party’s current Head of Strategy, succeeds Marc Phillips, who has been in post as interim Chief Executive since the turn of the year.

The appointment comes in the aftermath of the Senedd election campaign, which saw the party win 13 seats.

Originally from Swansea, Harris has worked for Plaid Cymru for over a decade; having previously worked as Chief of Staff in Adam Price’s Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency office.

He worked there until he moved to Plaid Cymru’s National Campaigns Unit in Ty Gwynfor in April 2019.

Announcing the appointment, Party Chair Alun Ffred Jones said: “Following a rigorous and competitive recruitment process, it is a pleasure to welcome Carl Harris to the role of Chief Executive.

“Carl has already served the party tirelessly for a decade and more, and his experience of working within a constituency and nationally will be an asset to Plaid as he takes on his new duties.

“With an exciting period of renewal and growth ahead we know that Plaid is in safe hands. We are also deeply indebted to Marc Phillips for his work over the past eight months as interim Chief Executive.”

Harris, 36, attended Olchfa Comprehensive School before studying Theatre at Trinity College, Carmarthen, and later studied Welsh as a second language at Lampeter University.


The first in his family to go to university, he is a former Deputy President of the National Union of Students Wales and served as Vice Chair of Cymru X, Plaid Cymru’s former Youth Section.

He became active in Welsh politics through his opposition to Labour’s higher education top-up fees.

In 2017 he was elected to represent Saron Ward on Carmarthenshire County Council, having gained a seat held by Labour for 13 years.

Ahead of taking up the new position of Chief Executive, Carl Harris said: “I’ve been fortunate to work within the Plaid Cymru family for a number of years, and it is with a sense of tremendous honour and humility that I take up the role as our party’s Chief Executive.

“The strength of our party is our grassroots members and the tireless efforts of our volunteers and staff.

“I see my role as one of empowerment and support: to nurture the relationship between the central office and our branch and constituency network, and to build the party to a position where we are more able to invest in our membership and campaigns across the country.”

“I look forward to working with the membership to help play my part in building a renewed and resurgent Plaid Cymru.”

He is the former Chair of the Universities of Wales Athletic Union and External Trustee of the Union at the University of Wales Trinity St David, and has served on a number of Welsh Government Ministerial Advisory Groups.

He will formally begin his new role on August 1st.

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Mandi A
Mandi A
2 years ago

How many women candidates did they interview? Do tell. Another insider who has only ever worked for the Party. If you are not progressing electorally, do you not look for new ideas? Pob lwc Carl.

2 years ago

I wonder what Leanne Wood thinks about his appointment.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
2 years ago

So, while Head of Strategy, this man himself took time out and stood for/won a seat in easy-peasy Carmarthenshire, presumably because noone else could possibly stand. In his day job he tirelessly took Plaid Cymru up from 20% of the Welsh national vote in 2016 to (er) 20% in 2021.
When will this “exciting period of renewal and growth” actually begin?

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 years ago

The 2021 election result was disappointing. And especially for the party leadership. We should however remember that it was fought in exceptional circumstances. Virtually no doorstep campaigning. Media focus on the COVID-19 response. Important to remember this before dissing Plaid.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
2 years ago

Same for all parties. Status quo policies and stances, PC accepting Labour dominance but no real thinking about what Indy actually requires ie mould-breaking. Result? Status quo result. Can’t you see the difference between “dissing” and demanding better performance? Have you never been challenged to do better?

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