Leanne Wood enters Plaid Cymru leadership race

Leanne Wood - the next leader of Plaid Cymru?

This is a personal posting from me (Esther). I am thrilled that Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales Central, and Rhondda resident, has declared her intention to stand in the leadership contest for Plaid Cymru.

I first met Leanne when I was struggling with my political ideas and direction. I had recently emerged from a ‘political coma’ and was trying to identify where to ‘lay my hat’ politically. Leanne and I spoke for about an hour over a cup of tea in the Senedd, in which time we identified many common concerns and aspirations for Wales and the Rhondda. I had, at the time, been giving serious consideration to Plaid Cymru, as they appeared to be the only party who were solely concerned with the immediate interests of Wales, the place I have called home for my entire life. Leanne’s commitment, hopes and passion for Wales, and the Rhondda, were infectious and inspiring. This meeting cemented my idea that Plaid Cymru were the party for me; if Leanne was an example of the party in action, then they were certainly a party I could, and wanted to, be a part of.

My next meeting with Leanne was at a public meeting where she unveiled her ‘Greenprint for the Valleys’, a forward thinking document that suggests many ways in which the Rhondda, and the other South Wales Valleys, can not just survive but thrive in the current economic and environmental climate.  I have yet to read a document that inspired me more.  You can download and read this document here. Since then, in all my dealings with her, she has continued to inspire, motivate and encourage me, and I thank her hugely for that.

A comment was recently made in a Plaid Cymru Facebook group that Plaid Cymru needs a leader with ‘vision and green awareness’. In Leanne Wood the party would certainly have this, in bucketloads. A committed environmentalist who cares deeply for the future of Wales, and who has clear ideas as to how these two concerns can and should be achieved hand in hand. Leanne would, I know, work extremely hard to ensure that Wales’s economic, social and environmental future is considerably better than our outlook seems to be at the moment.

I am sure that we would all like to think that our political leaders are principled, dedicated, hard working and able to empathise with us ‘regular people’. We want them to take the responsibility of their posts seriously and not use it for their own personal gain, we want them to work for us.  I know that Leanne is all of this and more, and it is for this reason that I am delighted to declare now that she will definitely get my vote and full support in the leadership election.

You can find out more about Leanne, her politics, her background and her vision for Wales on her new website.  If you too feel that she could offer a great deal to Wales as the leader of Plaid Cymru, and wish to help her win, you have until 26 January to join Plaid Cymru to enable you to have a vote in this important election.  Joining is simple, with an easy to use online form here and in doing so you will be joining a party that is committed to Wales, and to serving the best interests of the people of Wales.