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Plaid Cymru ‘betrayed’ over lack of representation in House of Lords says retiring Dafydd Wigley

12 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Dafydd Wigley. Picture by Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru have been “betrayed” by the UK Government over a lack of representation in the House of Lords, Dafydd Wigley has said as he announced his retirement.

He said that the party had been given the impression that three of their number would be given peerages after the 2010 election, to more closely match their three MPs at the time.

Eventually, only Dafydd Wigley himself was elevated to the upper house, a situation he said was very difficult for the party.

The only other Plaid Cymru Lord at the time, Dafydd Elis Thomas, was Llywydd of the Senedd and sat in the Lords as a crossbencher but took the Plaid Cymru whip in 2012.

Dafydd Wigley told Radio Cymru: “Trying to run a one-person party in a 700-member chamber, with the whole range of policies, much of it relevant to Wales, is next to impossible, and the workload is going to be significant.

“There is a limit to how much one person can try to row such a boat”.

‘Must be elected’

Although opposed to the unelected House of Lords, Plaid Cymru decided to nominate members in 2007 because the Senedd needed the Upper House’s approval to make laws.

But Dafydd Wigley said that Plaid Cymru were then blocked from entering the House of Lords by the previous Labour UK Government.

“According to what Labour members said to me then, Gordon Brown had said ‘over my dead body does any nationalist go into that chamber’.

“And so from 2007 until 2010 we were blocked, they refused to fulfil the promise”.

Dafydd Wigley said that he was retiring after 10 years in the House of Lords, and at the age of 79, but felt that Plaid Cymru representation there should continue.

“In my opinion, if we have members here we should have as many members as there are in the House of Commons,” he said.

“And I would hope that those would be elected by the party so that there is some democratic basis.

“But in the fullness of time if there is to be a future for the House of Lords it must be elected to give our voice some kind of strength”.


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Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
5 months ago

What else do you expect from that English dominated house and that Independence movement hater Gordon brown look how he fought against Scotland having independents

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

Yes Malcolm….. Brown is, was, and will always be, beneath contempt.

Crachach o Gymru
Crachach o Gymru
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

You have Lord and Lady Kinnock. Who else could be better to represent Wales.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

For a number of years I was privileged to be an specialist subject advisor to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee & later to former Home Second Lord Merlyn Rees. Dafydd Wigley’s contribution and standing in both Westminsters’ Houses of Parliament was accepted by most politicians as outstanding in quality and without equal in its well researched coverage of such a range of issues that impacted on peoples lives. From Disability to Children’s issues through to those impacted by industrial lung complaints and across to Europe and fiscal matters – he was always worth listening to. His attendance and contributions to… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Plaid representation in the House of Lords is a joke and a waste of time. Both Labour & Tories have deliberately stacked numbers in their favour. Personally I would prefer to see Plaid Cymru follow the SNP lead by sending no representatives out of principle.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Wow – get your facts right mate. There are several SNP supporters- open & vocal supporters of the SNP in the Lords. They like another PC one time member choose to sit in the chamber on other benches.

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

I think he’s mistaking the SNP for Sinn Fein. Ha!

But the point is a good one -Plaid needs to boycott, and the House of Commons too.

Alun
Alun
5 months ago
Reply to  Hell Glibson

Where there are governmental bodies with power over Wales we need to be a part of them. Otherwise they rule us unchallenged. The time for a boycott is when we’ve left the UK.

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