Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 09:11 UK

Wigley withdraws Lords nomination

Dafydd Wigley
Dafydd Wigley led Plaid Cymru from 1981-84 and between 1991-2000

Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley has withdrawn his nomination for a seat in the House of Lords.

He was one of three people nominated in 2008 by Plaid, but claimed attempts to get them into the Lords were being snubbed by the UK government.

Mr Wigley said he also wanted to concentrate on campaigning, and there is a possibility he could return to the Welsh assembly.

Plaid claimed the nominations had been blocked by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Wigley said he and other nominees, the former AM Janet Davies and the party's economic adviser, Eurfyl ap Gwilym, had been left "in limbo".

Mr Wigley says he wants to concentrate on campaigning for next year's general election and the assembly elections in 2011.

He described the continuing uncertainty as to the House of Lords nomination as a distraction which made it difficult for him to plan his involvement effectively.

He also referred to the "Clwyd South factor".

His actions have been purely self-serving in protecting and promoting the interests of his ailing Government above the democratic processes and the needs of Wales
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru leader on Gordon Brown

If Janet Ryder AM wins the Clwyd South parliamentary seat for Plaid, there would then be a vacancy for the North Wales regional seat in the Welsh assembly.

Mr Wigley, the former MP and AM for Caernarfon, would take this seat because he is second on the Plaid list for the region.

Plaid decided it needed peers because changes to the powers of the Welsh assembly will be approved in the Lords.

At the time of his criticism, the UK Cabinet Office said Plaid had not followed "correct procedures" for political appointments to the Lords.

Mr Wigley said the party had been originally advised by the UK government's chief whip to submit names to be considered for political peerages.


Mr Wigley said he would continue to support the two remaining Plaid nominees in their efforts to represent the party in the Lords.

"It is disappointing that those in power at Westminster can themselves decide whether or not another political party can have a voice in one of the two chambers of the UK parliament, which has a direct bearing on legislation for Wales and this episode reinforces the need to democratize the second chamber," he said.

Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones AM accused Gordon Brown of acting "shamefully" in blocking the nominations.

"His actions have been purely self-serving in protecting and promoting the interests of his ailing hovernment above the democratic processes and the needs of Wales," he said.

"We have held a number of discussions with UK government representatives on this matter and have been reassured on many occasions that the nominations were under serious consideration but it is clear that this is simply not the case."

Plaid has one member of the Lords, Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis Thomas, although he was not nominated by the party.

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