Previously a Probation Officer and co-Chair of the National Association of Probation Officers, Wood was elected in March 2012 becoming the very first female party leader in Plaid Cymru´s history. She is a vocal socialist, feminist and republican who has stated that she does not recognise the Queen. Wood also holds anti-war and pro-immigration views. She has been asked to withdraw from the Welsh Assembly chamber in December 2004 as the very first member of the assembly.
History of Plaid Cymru:
The party was founded on 5th August 1925 based on the need for promotion of the Welsh language and political independence of Wales, their first contest at general elections taking place in 1929. The membership has grown rapidly in 1960s and in 1970, Plaid Cymru contested all seats in Wales for the very first time, gaining over 175,000 votes.
They later secured a self-government for Wales in the European Union and attract members from various communities. Today, they contest every seat for the European Parliament, Westminster, National Assembly and local council seats. Plaid Cymru retains close links to the Scottish National Party.
Plaid Cymru’s Current Party Constitution:
Plaid´s main aims, taken from their current constitution are as follows:
“2.1 To secure independence for Wales in Europe.
2.2 To ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment, based on decentralist socialism.
2.3 To build a national community based on equal citizenship, respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever their race, nationality, gender, colour, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background. These are the Party’s core values.
2.4 To create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language.
2.5 To promote Wales’s contribution to the global community and to attain membership of the United Nations.”
Plaid Cymru’s Main Policies:
1) The same powers to Wales as to Scotland
Leanne Wood has stated in March 2015 that Plaid Cymru would „back a minority Labour government on a case-by-case basis“ (http://goo.gl/LyBIsX ) She has also added that Plaid Cymru would negotiate jointly (http://goo.gl/XOg0Z1 ) with SNP (Scottish National Party) and the Green Party if no party gains a clear majority in the May elections.
2) Opposing privatisation of NHS if that affects NHS funding in Wales
Plaid Cymru also propose to increase the number of trained and recruited doctors and community nurses and supported taxes imposed on alcoholic and soft drinks.
3) New National Curriculum
Plaid Cymru oppose the “free school” model
4) Increasing the number of jobs
Plaid Cymru want to establish public contracts with Welsh companies to create more jobs, propose zero business rates for Welsh businesses and increase minimum wage and the number of opportunities for women. They also oppose the VAT at the tourism industry in order to boost the number of jobs.
5) EU and Immigration questions
No withdrawal from the European Union unless all four nations are in agreement. Plaid Cymru also oppose the EU-US free trade agreement stating that it gives too much power to corporations. They also want to create a Welsh Migration Service so the immigration to Wales „meets the Welsh needs“ and end austerity politics.