Wales politics

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood welcomes leadership challenge

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Media captionLeanne Wood said she was committed to "doing the job that I set out to do in 2012"

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said she would "welcome" a challenge to her leadership when the opportunity arises in the autumn.

Under the party's rules, AMs can challenge for the position every other year during its annual October conference.

None of the party's AMs have declared an intention to do so.

Ms Wood said she was committed to seeing through the plans she outlined when she took up the role in 2012.

She told BBC's Sunday Politics Wales programme: "How many other political parties has the position of leadership that comes up for grabs every two years - a position that every single member in the party is entitled to vote for and every single member of my group in the National Assembly is entitled to bid for?

"Now, I would welcome any challenge, there's no problem there at all."

Last summer, an unnamed Plaid assembly member called for a leadership contest and for Ms Wood to stand down.

At last year's general election the party increased its number of MPs from three to four despite its vote share slipping by 1.7%.

In August, Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said he would consider running to be leader when Ms Wood stood down but did not say he would challenge her for leadership.

Image caption Speaking in August, Rhun ap Iorwerth said he had no immediate ambitions to be leader and there was no vacancy

Asked if she expected to be challenged, Ms Wood said: "I have no idea whether there will be one or not, it doesn't really matter too much because I'm very confident in the programme that I was elected on as leader in 2012, I am committed to seeing that programme through, there's plenty of work still to be done on that front.

"But, ultimately it's a matter for members of Plaid Cymru and that's the beauty of democracy, isn't it? They get to decide.

"And if they want to take a different direction, that's a matter for them but I'm still committed to doing the job that I set out to do in 2012 and I really want to see it through."

It comes as Ms Wood prepares to set out an agenda for a "democratic and empowered Wales" during a tour of meetings across the country.

Aiming to reconnect politics with people and fill what she has said is a political vacuum growing within Welsh politics, she will outline the challenges facing Wales and present policy ideas for discussion.

Speaking ahead of a lecture on Monday, Ms Wood said: "People tell me that they feel disconnected from politics, that there is a gap between the values that they hold close and the politics under discussion.

"With the Conservative party heavily influenced by hard right politics, dominated by extreme Brexiteers coupled with Labour's London-centric, centralising agenda, Wales needs something different - an alternative."

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