Plaid Cymru end co-operation agreement with Welsh Government

Plaid Cymru have announced their withdrawal from the co-operation agreement between their party and the Labour run Welsh Government. Plaid Cymru have said that they were proud of the way in which the co-operation agreement demonstrated new ways of doing politics, but that the time had come for the agreement to end. This decision has come in the wake of a series of decisions made by the new First Minister Vaughan Gething.

The announcement has left some asking why this did not come sooner given that during the agreement Plaid saw a number of scandals unfold involving politicians at the Senedd including the Green Man Farm debacle.

Vaughan Gething received a considerable donation of £200,000 from Resources Management Limited (RML) for his campaign.

Pembrokeshire County Council took legal action against the waste management site near Haverfordwest. It came to light that David Neal, the owner of RML had been handed a suspended prison sentence in 2013 for illegally dumping waste on a conservation site on the Gwent Levels. Following this sentencing, he was handed another suspended prison sentence in 2017 for failing to clean up the waste. In 2022, RML was convicted of environmental offences after odour and stench and gas levels had become unmanageable.

Despite the reputation of businessman David Neal, and the convictions of environmental offences against the company as well as the calls from Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats for the First Minister to return the donation, the First Minister rejected the calls and it is now understood that Vaughan Gething has passed the remainder of the money on to Kier Starmer’s Labour Party.

Coupled with the poor handling and delayed action in supporting some of the most vulnerable and poorest families in Wales, evidenced by the delay to major tax reforms until 2028, Plaid Cymru is resolute in its decision to cut co-operative ties with the current Welsh Government in a bid to move toward total scrutiny of the Welsh Labour Party.

In a statement, Plaid Leader Rhun ap Iorweth said:

“Since becoming Leader, I’ve been determined to hold the Labour Welsh Government firmly to account. I remain deeply concerned that the First Minister has failed to pay back the £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a company convicted of environmental offences and believe it demonstrates a significant lack of judgement. Money left over has now been passed on to Keir Starmer’s Labour Party. I am worried by the circumstances around the decision to sack a member of the Government this week relating to matters that should be in the public domain already.

“Plaid Cymru will move onwards with a clear and continued commitment to scrutinising Labour’s record, and with a renewed determination to put forward bold ideas which match the people of Wales’s ambitions for our country.”

What is the co-operation agreement?

The three-year deal between Plaid and Welsh Labour was agreed in December 2021 under the then First Minister Mark Drakeford. The agreement was made between the two parties following Labour securing 30 seats in the Senedd (one short of a majority). The agreement meant that Plaid Cymru would support Welsh Labour ministers in getting their budget through the Senedd – a crucial element for any government.

Criticism from the Conservatives

Despite Plaid Cymru’s move to distance themselves from the Labour-led Welsh Government, Plaid Cymru cannot escape their own record within the co-operation agreement.

Conservative candidate for Llanelli Charlie Evans has openly criticised Plaid Cymru’s recent history in enabling the rollout of the ‘disastrous’ 20mph speed limit legislation, as well as their signing up to the Sustainable Farming Scheme which the Welsh Conservatives claim caused unnecessary stress and untold misery to farmers across Wales. Earlier in the year, we witnessed large farmer protests outside the Senedd in opposition to the scheme.

Charlie Evans said:

“It is welcome that Plaid Cymru has withdrawn from the Cooperation Agreement with Welsh Labour. This is the most toxic Labour Government to preside over Wales since devolution started, with the stench of Vaughan Gething’s dirty donation money distracting them from the day-to-day issues that face the people of Wales.

“Despite repeated promises, the Plaid Cymru led Carmarthenshire County Council has just scrapped plans to build a new special school for Ysgol Heol Goffa in Llanelli. Whilst budgets are stretched and money needs to be prioritised, I can’t think of any greater priority for local government than ensuring disadvantaged pupils get access to the best facilities available.”

Ysgol Heol Goffa was scheduled to be uprooted and moved to a brand new building which would have cost the authority £17million. Earlier this week, the Council scrapped the plans on the grounds that it was not financially viable, despite budgeting the Pentre Awel wellbeing centre at £200million. A controversial move that has caused significant backlash within the Llanelli community.

Plaid Cymru may find themselves in the spotlight and the court of public opinion having worked hand in hand with the very people they are now crying Wolf over.




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