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Plaid Cymru: Mark Drakeford, Andrew RT Davies and Elin Jones pay tribute in Senedd as Adam Price steps down | UK News

Party leaders have paid tribute in the Senedd to Adam Price as he steps down as leader of Plaid Cymru.

Mr Price thanked his family in his final contribution to First Minister’s Questions as party leader.

He thanked “everyone who’s shown kindness to me in recent days” after he stepped down following a damning report into allegations of a “toxic culture” within Plaid – the Senedd’s only party which supports independence for Wales.

“The final but most important thanks is to my family who are here today and are looking forward to more of my presence over the years ahead of us,” he added.

Llyr Gruffydd will take over as interim leader of the party on Wednesday, while nominations for contenders wishing to become the next permanent leader will close on 16 June.

Mr Price also thanked Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, with whom he negotiated a cooperation agreement between the Labour government and Plaid Cymru following the last election.

“Leading a party is not an easy task but it is even more difficult to lead a nation,” he said.

“Your performance as first minister has always felt like an extended audition to become in the future Welsh republic our version of Michael D Higgins.”

There was laughter from members as Mr Price added: “It is a compliment coming from us.”

New leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, gives a speech after winning the leadership contest election result at the Novotel, Cardiff. Pic date: 28 Sep 2018
Adam Price, when he was first elected Plaid Cymru leader in 2018

Pride despite ‘painful’ resignation

The outgoing leader of Plaid Cymru, who has been in post since 2018, indicated how difficult his decision to resign had been.

“Good government needs good scrutiny and accountability is the bedrock of any democracy, not just for governments but oppositions too and that means not just seeking responsibility in others but accepting it in oneself, painful though that sometimes may be,” he said.

He ended his contribution to FMQs with a rallying cry to make the Senedd more representative of those who elect it.

“It took a long while for this gay council house boy from Tumble to have pride in himself,” he added.

“I never would have believed back then that I would get to sit in this chair.

“I want the youth of our country, women and men in equal number, every race, every creed, LGBTQ+ and disabled, the working class especially, to feel as if this place belongs to them, represents them, speaks for them as much as it does for anyone.

“I want them to see people like them occupying my chair, your chair, every chair.”

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford (left) and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price at the Senedd, Cardiff, after announcing their co-operation deal. Picture date: Monday November 22, 2021
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford (left) and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price outside the Senedd

Drakeford hails ‘enormous amount of agreement’

Mr Drakeford said in response: “We disagree on many things, and that’s the beauty of our democracy is that we can do that and we can do that here while knowing that behind those individual examples of disagreement, there lies an enormous amount of agreement about the purpose of politics here in Wales.”

Leader of the opposition, Andrew RT Davies, added: “I would like to thank him [Adam Price] for the courtesies he has extended to me during our time as leaders of our various groups here.

“Our politics are completely different, and I am sure he enjoyed that endorsement, but it is always good outside of the political environment where you can share a light-hearted moment.”

Read more:
Adam Price: The son of destiny
Plaid Cymru appoints interim leader

The Llywydd (presiding officer), Elin Jones, made a jovial reference to the length of Mr Price’s final statement.

“Indeed, Adam Price, true to your word you did test the patience of the Llywydd with the length of… your final statement,” she said.

“But best wishes to you, Adam, for your future in this Senedd,” she added.

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