Wales politics

Plaid Cymru Alun Ffred Jones' 'next generation' hint

Ieuan Wyn Jones
Image caption Ieuan Wyn Jones will stand down as Plaid Cymru leader in the first half of this assembly term

Plaid Cymru should look to a new generation when Ieuan Wyn Jones stands down as leader, says a senior party figure.

Mr Jones, 62, will stand down some time during the first half of this five-year assembly term.

Ex-Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones said he was not sure if someone of the same generation should take over.

Lord Elis-Thomas, aged 64, who led Plaid 20 years ago, has been nominated by his local party to run for the job.

Ieuan Wyn Jones announced the timetable for his departure earlier this month.

It followed a poor showing at the assembly election when Plaid fell into third place behind Labour and the Conservatives.

Asked if he would put his name forward, Alun Ffred Jones said: "It's unwise to say never but my personal view is that, if Ieuan is standing down, and he is going to stand down, I'm not sure whether somebody of the same generation should be stepping into his shoes."

'Learn lessons'

He added: "I'm not going to comment on anybody else who may or may not step into the post."

Lord Elis-Thomas was the assembly's presiding officer for the first 12 years of devolution and led Plaid between 1984 and 1991.

He has been nominated by his local party in Dwyfor Meirionnydd to run again for the top job.

Another candidate could be former Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who says she will "seriously consider" it.

Plaid will carry out a short review in the wake of the assembly election. Details of a longer review into the party's structure and strategic direction will be unveiled after a meeting of Plaid's national council in July.

Alun Ffred Jones, the AM for Arfon, told reporters in Cardiff Bay: "The review of the election is already underway and there are ongoing meetings... it's intended to be a comparatively brief study, so that we can try to learn as many lessons as we can from the people who were actually involved on the ground.

"It has no bearing at all on the issue of leadership."

He added: "The review of the election will be a comparatively brief one, reporting to the executive committee within a matter of months.

"But the wider review that the party is undertaking has a wider brief, and will involve asking serious questions about our core message and how we reach out to the people of Wales."

More on this story