Plaid Cymru to stand against Rhondda MP Chris Bryant if he is elected speaker
Plaid Cymru have said that they will challenge Chris Bryant MP for his seat in the Rhondda if he is elected Speaker of the House of Commons.
The current speaker, John Bercow, has said that he is stepping down at the end of the month.
The Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party have a long-running convention that they do not challenge the Commons Speaker in a General Election.
However, Plaid Cymru have stood against a speaker in the past – George Thomas in Cardiff West at the 1979 election.
In a statement released by Rhondda Assembly Member Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru said: “If Chris Bryant is elected speaker of the House of Commons, Plaid Cymru will not be following the convention that a speaker is elected unopposed.
“The Rhondda is not Buckingham, the constituency of the current speaker John Bercow. The Rhondda has some serious social issues that need sorting out and need the attention of a dedicated, full-time MP.
“The Rhondda can ill-afford to be represented by a parliamentarian more concerned with pomp than poverty.
“The people of the Rhondda should not be denied a say on who represents them at Westminster while so many levers of power are retained by the UK Government.
“The Rhondda deserves to choose who their next MP is; Plaid Cymru will ensure that there is a choice at the next General Election if Chris Bryant is elected as Speaker in the House of Commons.”
The former Church of England Vicar is one of nine MPs thought to be interested in the role of Speaker.
Chris Bryant was heavily criticised over the weekend after saying that MPs should receive money for childcare when Parliament sits on a Saturday.
He said that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) should consider financial provisions to cover the cost of childcare when MPs have to attend Parliament on a Saturday.
“It’s very inconvenient for many people who have children,” he said. “Unfortunately, the nursery is not able to be open to make sure there is childcare provided for honourable members.
“Would it not be incumbent upon IPSA to make financial provision so the cost of childcare can at least be met for members?”
Chris Bryant does not have children himself and said he was speaking on behalf of others.