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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 08:45 GMT
Wigley accepts Plaid peerage call
Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley
Dafydd Wigley stepped down as Plaid president four years ago
Plaid Cymru's honorary president Dafydd Wigley has been put forward for the party's internal election for membership of the House of Lords.

The former MP and AM confirmed he had accepted the nomination and said a "strong voice" for Wales was needed.

The move follows the party's historic vote in November in favour of sending representatives to the second chamber.

Plaid had rejected the policy of creating its own peers because it wanted the Lords to be fully elected.

At Plaid's conference in September representatives agreed to review the policy after Plaid parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd argued that peers were required to ensure planned legislation for Wales was not blocked at Westminster.

The members would also be required to reflect the views of the people of Wales in the upper chamber, he said.

Dafydd Wigley
Born: Derby, 1 April 1943
Educated: Manchester University; industrial economist
Married: Elinor Bennett
Elected: Caernarfon MP 1974-2001 and AM 1999-2003
Sponsored: Disabled Persons Act of 1981
Plaid Cymru: president 1981 - 4 and 1991 - 2000

Mr Wigley had stipulated in October thee conditions before he would consider a move to the House of Lords.

These included the establishment of good links between Plaid's three MPs, its AMs and the new members of the second chamber. Mr Wigley, the former Caernarfon MP and AM, said he thought it was important to have as strong a voice as possible in the House of Lords.

"Decisions are taken there that have a direct material affect on the well being of Wales," he said.

"They can block legislative proposals from the national assembly therefore we want as strong a voice for Wales as possible there."

The Welsh assembly's new powers under the Government of Wales act allows it to make its own laws in devolved areas, with the permission of Parliament.

But Mr Llwyd has warned that many in the House of Lords might want to block such permission, known as Orders in Council.

An election will take place in Plaid's national council on 26 January to decide on the slate of nominees which the party will put forward for membership of the second chamber.


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