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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Jones: Why I had to resign
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ieuan Wyn Jones said he would continue to represent Ynys Mon

This is the statement issued by Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones announcing his resignation.

"Following the National Assembly election last Thursday I decided - after consulting colleagues - that I should continue as president of Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales and group eader in the National Assembly.

"Although the results of the election were deeply disappointing, I received advice from many sources that I should continue at least until the end of my present term in 2004.

"I want to stress that I had received this advice from leading and senior members of the party as well as from ordinary party members. They told me that the last thing we needed at the present time was a leadership election.

Widespread support

"They told me that we needed time to take stock, make a detailed assessment of the results and implement the far reaching changes that I believe are necessary to make sure that Plaid Cymru can meet the challenges that we face in the next few years.

"I announced my intention and I received widespread support for it.

It would be impossible for me... without the support of at least a clear majority of group members
Ieuan Wyn Jones

"However, this morning I was informed by the chair of the group in the assembly that half the group felt that it was better if I stepped down immediately.

"Although the election of the president and the group leader is in the hands of ordinary party members, I consider that it would be impossible for me to take forward the necessary changes without the support of at least a clear majority of group members.

"I believe that the changes that are needed are so fundamental that strong support is necessary to carry them through.

"As a result, I today announce my intention to stand down as president of Plaid Cymru and group leader in the National Assembly. My resignation becomes effective when both posts are filled.


"The national executive will decide on the timetable for the election but it is my hope that my successor will be in place at the party conference in September.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during my time as president. It has been a great privilege to lead the party for the last three years.

"I would like to thank the ordinary party members, elected members and staff for their support and I would want to pay a particular thanks to my wife Eirian and my family for their total support over many years in public life.

"I will continue to serve Ynys Mn in the assembly and I am looking forward to working hard for my constituency as an elected member."

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