Wales politics

Former Plaid leader backs new nuclear power investment

The heatwave is over, most MPs have long left Westminster and even peers are about to head off on their summer break.

Before disappearing for August, their lordships found time to fit in a few exchanges on energy policy, exchanges which included a pro-nuclear power contribution from one former Plaid Cymru leader.

Lord Elis-Thomas, who is also a member of the National Assembly for Wales, spoke as peers discussed the challenge of keeping the lights on in years to come. This is his question: "My Lords, does the minister agree that this situation has been brought about by the failure of successive governments to invest adequately in alternative low-carbon forms of renewable energy, and also to invest in new nuclear?

"Will she now agree that it is absolutely essential that projects such as the Horizon project at Wylfa B in Anglesey should go ahead as soon as possible?"

Energy Minister Baroness Verma told him: "My lords, as I have said on a number of occasions at the dispatch box, the government have taken very seriously the point that we need to ensure a diverse source of supply of energy. Among them, of course, are the renewable sector and nuclear."

Lord Elis-Thomas's enthusiasm for nuclear power isn't shared by many in his party, although other senior Plaid Cymru figures have argued that the investment and jobs offered by nuclear over-ride policy objections.

Peers are back at Westminster on 8 October. MPs return on 2 September. I'm also taking a few weeks away from Westminster. After a family break, I'll be co-presenting Good Evening Wales from Cardiff in late August before returning to the day job in September. Please excuse the lack of updates on this page between now and then. Bye for now.