Wales politics

Plaid Cymru post-referendum coalition with Labour 'rejected by AMs'

Simon Thomas Image copyright Plaid Cymru
Image caption Simon Thomas says that to support Labour would be 'political folly' for Plaid

Plaid AMs have rejected the idea of going into a post-referendum coalition with Labour, the party's group whip has said.

Simon Thomas said it would be "political folly" to strike such a deal while Labour was "ripping itself apart", but he said a special party conference could decide differently.

Party leader Leanne Wood had previously said that she was not ruling it out.

Her comments sparked opposition from some Plaid politicians.

Speaking at the party's weekly press conference Mr Thomas, Plaid AM for Mid and West Wales, said: "Labour are in such a shocking state of affairs, and so poorly led, that I think it would be counterproductive in the Welsh context for Plaid to go into any kind of formal coalition with Labour.

"We maintain the informal relationships we set up at the time we appointed Carwyn [Jones as first minister]. Those committees that we talked about are meeting, they are negotiating, they are talking."

"We're not interested in forming a coalition," he said.

Image caption Leanne Wood had said Plaid would 'work with whoever' to give Wales leadership

Mr Thomas said Ms Wood "was right to say that it wasn't being ruled out because the party hadn't discussed it at that stage".

"The group has discussed it, the group is not interested in that", he said.

Mr Thomas said the "party will discuss it potentially when we have our special conference" on 16 July.

"If the party decides different to the group then things could change again," he said.

He added: "The reality of the Labour party ripping itself apart, leaderless at a national UK level, so divorced from the realities of people's lives today - to support that I think would be political folly for us."

Ms Wood had told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme after the referendum: "What happened on Thursday night has changed everything really, so I would not be prepared to close anything down."

But in response, South Wales Central AM Neil McEvoy, who was newly elected in May, said on Twitter: "I'm absolutely opposed to propping up a toxic Labour Party."

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards was also critical of any support for Labour while Jeremy Corbyn was facing challenges to his leadership.

He tweeted: "Labour today is defined by chaos, dissent and disunity. Now is the time for @Plaid_Cymru to challenge not endorse them."

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