This article was published as a letter in the July issue of Prospect. Subscribe today
While I welcome the arrival in the Commons of Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru’s first female MP, I don’t agree with her assessment of the current state of politics in Wales. When I was first elected to parliament in 1987, there were 38 MPs for Wales and three of them were Plaid. Now there are 40, and still only three are Plaid. Plaid seems to have morphed from the party of Welsh independence into the party of “a bit more devolution and funding (please!)” That’s an identity crisis in the making. The contrast with Scotland and the SNP could not be more glaring. Aided by proportional representation in next year’s Welsh assembly elections, the UK Independence Party will be getting its first assembly members. Plaid does not seem to be capturing that bloc of cheesed-off ex-Labour voters. Ukip is now more of a danger to Labour in Wales than Plaid Cymru.