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Plaid Cymru launches campaign with vow to make Welsh voices heard

Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth claimed Labour has taken votes in Wales for granted.

Plaid Cymru election launch

Labour has been accused of taking Welsh votes for granted, as Plaid Cymru launched its election campaign.

Plaid pledged to always put Welsh interests first at its campaign launch in Bangor, North Wales, on Thursday, as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Abergavenny in Monmouthshire to support his party’s Welsh campaign.

Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “It’s time to kick the Tories out of power. They have left a trail of destruction and we cannot get rid of that Government quickly enough, but the message is also abundantly clear that people don’t want Labour to be taking Wales for granted either.

“For too long Wales has been overlooked by Westminster.”

Mr ap Iorwerth said his party will support a motion of no confidence in the Labour First Minister Vaughan Gething which had been tabled by the Welsh Conservatives.

Rhun ap Iorwerth
Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorwerth was speaking during the launch of the party’s General Election campaign in Bangor (Peter Byrne/PA)

But he said ultimately it is for the Labour Party, and Sir Keir, to decide whether Mr Gething stays on in the role.

He said: “We have made it abundantly clear that we don’t have confidence in Vaughan Gething due to his actions in receiving the toxic donation plus his actions since, frankly.

“More important than that, I have no doubt he has lost the confidence of the Welsh people.”

He said voting Plaid will allow voters in Wales to make their voices heard, but he warned Welsh votes will not be the ones to decide the election.

“I think the evidence, and we see it in the way Labour takes Welsh votes for granted, that it’s not the people of Wales who will decide who goes into Downing Street on July 5,” he said.

Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer campaigned in Abergavenny on Thursday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“This is a core part of our message – people in Wales are able to make their voice heard and make their voice heard through Plaid Cymru knowing they will hold to account whoever holds the keys to Number 10.”

The party’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said: “You’d never know that Labour have been holding the reins of power in Wales for 25 years.

“What we’ve got is Starmer coming to Wales today with a rehashed version of his six pledges, but Wales, of course, has seen Labour in charge of health, of education. Where’s the change that they are offering?”

She said Plaid Cymru is coming up with new ideas – including setting up a national wealth fund bankrolled by taking over the profits of offshore wind farms owned by the King.

She also said the party has a “solution” for the effects of Brexit and will call for the country to rejoin the single market and customs union.

Boundary changes mean there are 32 seats in Wales, compared to 40 at the previous election.

The process has seen the four seats Plaid won in 2019 translate into just two to defend on July 4 – Ceredigion Preseli and Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

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