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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 20:15 GMT 21:15 UK
Morgan given rugby chop by Plaid
Ieuan Wyn Jones with the Welsh World Rugby Cup squad in Plaid Cymru's picture
Plaid's shot of Ieuan Wyn Jones [R] and the squad... but only a glimpse of Rhodri Morgan's hand [L]
They may be partners in government, but Plaid Cymru has failed to keep Labour First Minister Rhodri Morgan in the picture when it comes to rugby.

Mr Morgan and his Plaid deputy, Ieuan Wyn Jones, were both there to send the Welsh team off to the Rugby World Cup.

But in Plaid's photo of the big day, Mr Morgan was absent, while Mr Jones - and the team - were very much present.

Labour declined to comment, and Plaid said the picture was taken by a member of its staff.

If these two can't even be seen in a photo together, it doesn't bode well for a cohesive and stable government
Jonathan Morgan AM, Conservative

The mystery of the missing first minister was spotted by Conservative AM Jonathan Morgan, who was also at the photo-shoot in Cardiff Bay.

Jonathan Morgan was there representing the Tories as the official opposition, and he also failed to make an appearance in the picture issued by Plaid in both a press release and on its website.

In Plaid's version of the photo, Rhodri Morgan's hand - but nothing more - can just be seen holding up the Welsh flag next to national team coach Gareth Jenkins.

Rhodri Morgan [L] and Ieuan Wyn Jones [R] with the Welsh squad
Ah, there he is... Rhodri Morgan appears stage left in this BBC shot

Plaid's press release - under the heading "Deputy first minister gives best wishes to Welsh team" - also omitted to mention the presence of any other politician as they sent the team on their way.

The Plaid press release began: "Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones today met with the Welsh rugby team to wish them the best of luck as they prepare to head to France for the World Cup."

Jonathan Morgan said this made the historic coalition hammered out after May's assembly election between traditional rivals Labour and Plaid look "decidedly less rosy".

He claimed that Plaid had "snubbed First Minister Rhodri Morgan" and said: "This doesn't look like two politicians who really want to work together.

"There is a serious point behind what Plaid have done. In less than two weeks, the assembly will be back in session with extra powers and a coalition government at the helm.

"The people of Wales are expecting a better deal than the eight years of failure and broken promises that have been served up by Labour. If these two can't even be seen in a photo together, it doesn't bode well for a cohesive and stable government."

Plaid said the photograph had been taken by a party employee.

A Plaid spokesperson said: "We are very sorry if we have upset the Conservative Party by not including Jonathan Morgan in the picture we put on our website".

A spokesman for Rhodri Morgan declined to comment.

Senior MPs condemn Plaid deal
05 Jul 07 |  Wales

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