Wales Election 2016

Plaid's Lord Elis-Thomas endorses Labour PCC candidate

Lord Elis-Thomas
Image caption Lord Elis-Thomas prides himself on saying what he thinks

Plaid Cymru's Lord Elis-Thomas has backed Labour's north Wales police and crime commissioner candidate.

He said Plaid, Tory and Lib Dem supporters should "stop UKIP" by giving one of their two votes to Labour.

In the PCC election on 5 May voters choose their first and second-preference candidates.

Lord Elis-Thomas, who is standing for re-election to the assembly, said he would give his second vote to Labour PCC candidate David Taylor.

The PCC election takes place on the same day as the assembly poll.

Plaid's candidate is Arfon Jones, a former police inspector and a member of Wrexham council.

Lord Elis-Thomas has prompted concern within Plaid Cymru about his criticism of the party leadership and policy, but won the backing of local party members in a meeting last July to remain as a Plaid Cymru assembly candidate.

In a statement released by Mr Taylor, Lord Elis-Thomas said: "I believe voters in north Wales need to think and act tactically in the election for the police and crime commissioner, in order to stop UKIP in their tracks.

"The relatively new role of commissioner is hugely important in terms of injecting real democratic accountability into policing here in north Wales.

"It's crucial therefore that the result of this election is not skewed by the UKIP vote for the assembly on the same day."

'New energy'

He added: "That's why I'm calling on all supporters of Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats right across north Wales to cast either their first or second preference vote for Labour's David Taylor on polling day, to stop UKIP from inadvertently benefiting.

"David is someone I have known for many years. He is a Labour Party member but like me is never afraid to speak his mind and will always put the interests of north Wales first, he is the candidate who can unite our region.

"I know he would make an outstanding commissioner, bringing a much-needed new energy and enthusiasm to the role.

"It's important that a true reflection of north Wales voting intention determines the outcome of the PCC election on May 5 and extremism is not rewarded by accident."

Mr Taylor said: "I am deeply honoured to have received the backing of Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

"Although we are in different parties, he is one of Wales' leading statesmen and someone I respect a great deal.

"I have tried to run a positive campaign, and have been determined to show that I would be a commissioner for everyone in north Wales."

Meanwhile, a Conservative assembly candidate has backed Lord Elis-Thomas's decision to speak out.

Nick Ramsay tweeted: "@ElisThomasD right to put PCC election before party politics.

"@david_taylor would get my second preference vote if I lived in North Wales."

Plaid Cymru did not respond directly to Lord Elis-Thomas's support for Mr Taylor, but released a series of statements from party figures backing its choice.

Plaid chair Alun Ffred Jones said there was "no-one better qualified" to be North Wales PCC than Arfon Jones.

"A former police inspector, Arfon understands policing and will work with both police officers and the wider public to deliver for communities." he said.

The other candidates standing to be north Wales' new police and crime commissioner are:

  • Julian Sandham - Independent
  • Simon Wall - UKIP
  • Matt Wright - Welsh Conservative

In March, the first North Wales PPC, independent Winston Roddick, announced he was standing down after one term.

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