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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 15:09 GMT
Plaid attacks 'years of failure'
Three of Plaid Cymru's MPs listen to their colleague Adam Price
Three of Plaid Cymru's MPs listen to their colleague Adam Price
Plaid Cymru has unveiled some of its campaign themes for the expected general election with an attack on "eight years of New Labour failure".

The party will argue that Labour has let Wales down, and that the election can be the "catalyst for change".

Plaid, with four out of Wales' 40 MPs, launched its campaign in Cardiff well ahead of the election likely in May.

Its Parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd criticised what he called the "shameful legacy" of Labour policies.

Plaid came third at the last general election in Wales, behind Labour and the Conservatives, with 195,000 votes, or 14.3% of the total.

We will offer the people of Wales a better deal built on the old values of compassion and community
Adam Price MP
For this campaign, the party's slogan will be: "We can build a better Wales."

Plaid will argue that Labour's record under Tony Blair has failed Wales and has been biased towards London.

But the full details of Plaid's range of policies will not be published until it launches its manifesto during the election campaign proper.

Mr Llwyd, MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, said the party was tired of seeing Wales at the bottom of the prosperity league, and of having to slavishly follow London's agenda.

He said billion of pounds had been wasted on weapons of war in Iraq, which could have been spent on education of the young, or care for the elderly.

Mr Llwyd also said a university education, dental treatment and nursing care should be free for all.

'Proper parliament'

Adam Price, MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, said the campaign would focus on Labour's "abysmal" record. He cited war in Iraq, and 300,000 people on waiting lists in Wales.

"We will offer the people of Wales a better deal built on the old values of compassion and community," said Mr Price.

"Above all we will aim to give them a sense of new hope and limitless possibility, a belief in a future that can be better than the past, a tomorrow that will be better than today."

Plaid will also emphasise its aim to turn the Welsh assembly into what it called a "proper parliament".

Mr Llwyd said the assembly did not have enough powers and as a parliament it would be able to change people's lives in Wales, rather than being an end in itself.

Asked about Plaid election targets, the party said it aimed to win "another seat or two," on top of its existing four seats. Its main target will be Ynys Mon, which it lost to Labour in 2001 by 800 votes.

Mr Llwyd predicted a negative campaign, and accused Labour and the Conservatives of having engaged already in "nasty" politics on immigration and asylum.

He said Plaid would not want to use negative tactics, but would if forced to. Mr Llwyd said Plaid had plenty of ammunition to counter Labour attacks, including the issue of trust in Mr Blair, the motives for war in Iraq, and Labour attitudes and behaviour in the assembly.

The party said it would also argue for "providing affordable homes in safe communities, fair funding for Wales and a fair taxation for all" and "tackling global warming and creating a living countryside".

Plaid leaks its own manifesto
22 Oct 04 |  Wales

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