Candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Carmarthen into a miner’s family. Educated at Ysgol Dyffryn Amman, I found my political awakening during the Miners’ strike of the 1980s when I and my brothers would join Dad on the picket line.
The last of the generation to receive university grants, I attended Cardiff University where I graduated with a BSc in Economics.
I was elected to the House of Commons in 2001 before stepping down from front-line politics in 2010 to attend Harvard University where I become a Fellow at the Centre for International Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
But politics brought me home to Wales and in 2016 I became a Member of the Senedd - serving the people of my home constituency of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr yet again. I’ve always been driven by the importance of fairness and justice and I’m committed to making Wales an equal nation and a nation of equals.
What is the most important thing you think the Senedd should do in the next five years?
I believe that Wales has faced its moment of truth. Covid-19 has exposed decades of deep and growing inequality inflicted on Wales by Westminster’s corrupt elite.
This election is our chance to create a brighter future, together, under the fresh leadership of a Plaid Cymru Government.
We will deliver the best start in life for every child, a fair deal for families, the best NHS and a plan for the whole country to prosper.
The future cannot be like the past and it will not be if we chose our own future. A Plaid Cymru Government will let you – not Westminster – decide Wales’ future.
What will you do for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr if elected?
First and foremost, I will work hard to ensure our communities in Carmarthenshire get their fair share of investment from the Welsh Government. There have been countless examples during the last Senedd term of our communities getting second rate services because of their geographical location. I want our communities to get access to better broadband speeds, I want them to have better access to housing, and I want them to have better transport links by road and rail. The culture of endless delays to infrastructure investment in the South West needs to end.
On top of this, I want to re-evaluate some of the policies we have here in Wales that are causing pressure on so many of our society. Council Tax in Wales is a regressive feature of a Thatcher government, and reforming it to make it fairer would allow thousands of people in the constituency to hang on to more of their pay packet every month.
I also promise that as part of our ambition for a sustainable future for our children, I will proudly champion our local businesses as a key part of our supply chain here in Wales. If we want to get serious about reducing food miles in Wales, we can support our fantastic local producers, which will in turn mean that more money is spent in our communities, which will make them better places to live, work, and earn. This alongside a comprehensive package of support for our town centres, manufacturing, tourism and agricultural industries, will ensure that our part of Wales can recover and prosper in the new normal that is to come.