Support our Nation today - please donate here

Price call for BBC to uninvite Abolish the Assembly from leaders’ debate over ‘appalling’ attack

31 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Adam Price. Picture by Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has called on the leaders of Wales’ other political parties to back a call to uninvite Abolish the Assembly from the BBC leader’s debate.

His call came after Lee Canning of the Abolish the Assembly Party posted an online image of Plaid Cymru MS Leanne Wood with the caption: “The ugly face of nationalism.”

Writing to the other party leaders, Adam Price called on them to “join me in condemning the party’s behaviour and sending a clear message that it has no place in the Senedd Election campaign”.

“I would also ask that you support us in calling on the BBC to uninvite the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party from the televised debate so as not to allow them to further toxify the public discourse in Wales,” he said.

The tweet by Lee Canning has now been deleted. BBC Wales confirmed yesterday that they had invited Abolish the Assembly to take part in a Leader’s Debate for the Senedd election.

Abolish had argued that they could not be left out while the Liberal Democrats, who are currently polling at 4% to their 7% on the regional vote in the most recent YouGov poll, were included.

‘Personal attacks’

But Adam Price said that it was “timely to remind ourselves of the role we all have to play in fostering public trust and confidence in our democracy”.

“Election campaigns should always be a battle of ideas where legitimate challenge and scrutiny never stoops to personal attacks or smearing our opponents,” he said.

“Last week, the vast majority of Senedd Members voted in favour of the revised Code of Conduct for Members which sets out the principles we are all expected to uphold as elected representatives.

“The rules of the Code explicitly state that Members ‘must not subject anyone to personal attacks’. Five Members voted against the Code, two of whom sit as the ‘Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party’ Members, despite being elected whilst belonging to other parties.

“I was therefore unsurprised but nonetheless appalled to see the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party coordinator launch personal attacks on social media against my colleague, Leanne Wood MS, describing her as ‘the ugly face of nationalism’.

He finished: “We all have a desire to see a kinder politics and we all have a part to play in delivering it by challenging undignified and disreputable behaviour wherever it may arise.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.