The Electoral Commission has decided not to allow Neil McEvoy’s new Welsh National Party to use the Welsh-language name Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru.
It decided that the Welsh language name, despite being a direct translation, was too close to the name of the already-existing parties and could confuse voters.
A source within Plaid Cymru said the decision could raise questions about why the Electoral Commission allowed the Welsh National Party to use the English name.
“The Electoral Commission decision shows that there’s only Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru exists and it will continue to serve the needs of the people of Wales,” the Plaid Cymru source said.
But Neil McEvoy said he would continue to use the name Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru “whatever appears on the ballot paper”.
“We are delighted and excited to be the Welsh National Party, attracting new members from all over Wales,” he said.
“We will be known as Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru in our national language, whatever appears on a ballot paper. It seems a strange decision for the Electoral Commission in London to deny a Welsh party a Welsh name on the ballot paper. Welsh is supposedly equal to English in law after all.
“It is also absurd for the Commission to suggest that people may confuse us with the Welsh Communist Party or the Welsh Christian Party, ‘Plaid Gristnogol Cymru’ and ‘Plaid Gomiwnyddol Cymru’. This is another example of London just not getting or respecting our language.
“Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru is the direct translation in Welsh and that is what we will be known as in Cymraeg.”
Independent Assembly Member Neil McEvoy registered the new Welsh National Party last month, and Monday the Welsh National Party announced its first political group in Wales on Cardiff Council.
The new group will be led by Cllr Keith Parry, with Cllr Andrea Gibson serving as Deputy Leader. The Group also includes Councillors Lisa Ford and Neil McEvoy AM.
All four were elected to represent Plaid Cymru but after Neil McEvoy was expelled the others announced that they are resigning from the party in October. Cllr Keith Parry was the leader of the Plaid Cymru group.
Neil McEvoy, who was originally elected for Plaid Cymru to represent the South Wales Central region before being expelled in 2017, is listed as the party’s leader.
Assembly Member Neil McEvoy withdrew his application to re-join Plaid Cymru in July of last year.
He cited an “absence of natural justice” and “due process” as the reasons behind the move.
Plaid Cymru’s AMs voted to suspend the South Wales Central AM in October 2017.