Wales politics

Plaid leader 'getting on with job' after poor election

Ieuan Wyn Jones
Image caption Ieuan Wyn Jones says Plaid needs time to reflect on the election result

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones says he wants to "get on with the job" after his party suffered a drubbing in the Welsh assembly election.

Mr Jones spoke to Plaid AMs on Monday in their first group meeting after the party lost four seats.

Asked if he offered to resign, he said: "I don't think that was necessary."

Plaid was overtaken as the second-biggest group in the assembly by the Conservatives, and its campaign has been criticised from within the party.

Plaid has been accused by Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas, the AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, of attacking its former coalition partner Labour too heavily.

Speaking after the meeting in the Senedd, Mr Jones said: "I think the party now wants to get on with the job. It wants to set up the investigation, if you like, into the result.

"There's also a lot of work to do here in the assembly because there's lots of things going on and the party is quite comfortable with that position continuing.

"In the fullness of time we may need to make some decisions, but as things currently stand I think it's important for us to just get on with the job."

He added: "I think the party needs to reflect on these things obviously, but my position now is that I want to get on with the job. There's a lot of work to be done and I'm very, very happy to do that."

He added: "Clearly the group has recognised that it was a difficult election for us, but it was very positive in the sense that the group now understands we need to take our time to reflect on the result."

He said Plaid must "not to rush into any instant decisions".

'Take our time'

"I think this has to be pretty fundamental because the party accepts it was a difficult election for us and we need to take our time about that," he said.

Plaid's losses included Llanelli, where deputy leader Helen Mary Jones was beaten by Labour.

Lord Elis-Thomas backed Mr Jones as leader at the weekend, but criticised the anti-Labour campaign strategy.

Despite forming a coalition assembly government in 2007, Plaid heavily attacked Labour during the election campaign.

Lord Elis-Thomas told BBC Wales' Politics Show: "I think it's important now there is stability within Plaid and within the leadership."

He added: "I think there was a problem with the campaign itself in that there appeared to be a determination to be as negative as possible towards our previous partners in government and I don't think the position of the party was sufficiently clearly explained even on the particular political spectrum we have in Wales."

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