Plaid Cymru chairwoman resigns over staff changes

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Indy Politics
LONG-RUNNING disagreements over the direction of Plaid Cymru surfaced yesterday when Sian Edwards resigned as chairwoman in protest at staff restructuring at the party's Cardiff headquarters.

Ms Edwards, a party member for more than 25 years, described the changes as 'crazy'. The post of general secretary is being abolished with Dafydd Williams being effectively downgraded to chief administrator. The administrative officer, Gwerfyl Arthur, is being sacked.

'This will lead to administrative and financial chaos,' Ms Edwards said. 'There is a resurgence of macho politics in the party, a concentration on Thatcherite management styles.' Her resignation was immediately followed by those of the remaining women on the executive committee, Janet Davies and Gillian Jones.

Behind the brusque treatment of the two long-serving officials lies a struggle between party modernisers and the conservative wing. Ms Edwards, one of the party's most articulate modernisers, was elected in October. Her earlier work on the general election manifesto was widely praised, the document helping to secure a fourth MP for Plaid and establish the party as the third force in Welsh politics.

The restructuring decision was taken at a tense weekend meeting of the national council when delegates approved the plan by 57 to 47. Mr Williams and Ms Arthur declined to comment.