Plaid Cymru Conwy leader defies party on Tory coalition

Gareth JonesImage copyright Conwy council
Image caption Gareth Jones had wanted to appoint a cabinet made up of members from all groups

The Plaid Cymru leader of Conwy council has presented a cabinet including Conservatives in defiance of what he called a “diktat” from his party.

Gareth Jones told a meeting of the full council on Monday that party politics “should not distract us”.

However, two other Plaid members named as members of the cabinet have quit.

Mr Jones said he wanted to reassure people there was “no impasse with delivering services” and the council was “proceeding with full speed”.

The former Plaid Cymru assembly member announced earlier in June he wanted to appoint a cabinet representing all groups after no party won a majority in May’s local election.

However, on Friday Plaid Cymru’s national executive committee rejected the proposal to include Conservatives in his administration.

The cabinet is currently made up of two Plaid Cymru councillors – including Mr Jones – five Conservative and one independent. Labour had declined the invitation.

Image copyright Meirion/Geograph
Image caption Conwy council offices in Bodlondeb

Presenting his team to the full council, Mr Jones said: “I respect the people of Conwy and how they voted. That’s what’s important, not a diktat that isn’t democratic.

“Party politics should have no place here and should not distract us.”

Mr Jones claimed there was a “glimmer of hope” his party would approve his administration, saying the decision of his party’s ruling body had not been unanimous.

The resignations of Garffild Lloyd Lewis and Trystan Lewis mean that there is no-one holding the education portfolio.

Mr Jones said that he himself would look after education “for the next few months”.

BBC News – Wales

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