Plaid ‘can­not be ig­nored’ but Brexit Party leads polls

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Martin.ship­[email protected]­

PLAID CYMRU leader and Car­marthen­shire AM Adam Price says the party can­not be ig­nored in the wake of the Euro­pean elec­tions.

Mean­while Welsh Labour First Min­is­ter Mark Drake­ford has come out un­equiv­o­cally in favour of a fur­ther EU ref­er­en­dum af­ter his party suf­fered a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tion, com­ing third in Wales be­hind the Brexit Party and Plaid Cymru.

The Brexit Party, with 32.5% of the vote, saw two MEPs elected in Wales – Nathan Gill, first elected in 2014 for Ukip, and James Wells, a for­mer se­nior man­ager with the ONS in New­port.

Plaid Cymru’s Jill Evans (19.6%) re­tained her seat and Labour’s new lead can­di­date Jackie Jones narrowly took the fourth with 15.3% of the vote.

The Brexit Party topped the polls in 19 out of 22 Welsh coun­cils, with Plaid Cymru com­ing top in Gwynedd, Ceredi­gion and An­gle­sey.

Mr Drake­ford in a state­ment said: “Ever since the Martin Ship­ton ref­er­en­dum in 2016, the Welsh Govern­ment has re­spected the re­sult by ar­gu­ing for a form of Brexit which would pro­tect Welsh jobs and our econ­omy.

“Labour col­leagues in Westminste­r have done the same, most re­cently in negotiatio­ns with the UK Govern­ment.

“The elec­tion of a new Con­ser­va­tive leader changes all of that. It elim­i­nates the chances of any agreed form of Brexit, and it hugely in­creases the very real dan­ger of a cat­a­strophic no-deal exit from the EU. We can­not and will not stand by while that takes place.

“Faced with the dam­age of a hard-line Tory Brexit, Welsh Labour be­lieves that the fi­nal de­ci­sion must be made by the pub­lic in a ref­er­en­dum.”

In Car­marthen­shire, the Brexit Party took 32.8% of the vote ahead of Plaid Cymru with 31.1%. Third were Labour with 12.5%, The Lib Dems had 7.8%, the Green Party 4.9%, Ukip 3.2% and Change UK 2.7%. The Con­ser­va­tives took just 4.9%.

Plaid Cymru leader – and Car­marthen East and Dine­fwr AM – Mr Price, whose party got more votes than Labour for the first time ever in a Waleswide elec­tion, said: “This re­sult is a sig­nal which can­not be ig­nored.

“There is no way that Brexit can con­tinue to be con­sid­ered the set­tled will of the peo­ple. The Tories should wake up, and the Labour lead­er­ship should get out of the way, and al­low the peo­ple a Fi­nal Say ref­er­en­dum.

“Plaid Cymru stood in this elec­tion as the only pro-Re­main, pro-Peo­ple’s Vote party that could win. The peo­ple of Wales heard our mes­sage and re­sponded by vot­ing for us in their tens of thou­sands, many of them for the first time ever.”

A tri­umphant Mr Gill said: “This was a his­toric re­sult that has sent shock­waves through Wales with the Brexit Party win­ning 19 of Wales 22 lo­cal author­i­ties.

“For only the sec­ond time since 1918, Labour have failed to win an elec­tion in Wales.

“Three years ago the peo­ple of Wales voted to leave the Euro­pean Union. They’ve been ig­nored, and now Wales’s pro-Brexit ma­jor­ity have elected two great Brexit Party MEPs.”

Pic­ture: Matthew Hor­wood

Bal­lot papers are counted for the Wales count in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions.

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