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Commenting on the defection of South Wales East Assembly Member Mohammad Ashgar...

December 8, 2009 3:40 PM

Commenting on the defection of South Wales East Assembly Member Mohammad Ashgar, from Plaid Cymru to the Welsh Conservatives, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"On reflection, this move should surprise nobody. Mohammad Ashgar spent years toeing the line on behalf of Plaid ministers. That's a thankless task, especially if you disagree with Plaid Cymru's stated goal of full independence for Wales. It really is difficult to understand why Mohammad Ashgar ever joined Plaid Cymru, given his stated love, today, of Union and Queen."

"This defection will certainly weaken the coalition government but does little to help the Welsh Conservatives. Nick Bourne will now have to satisfy his party members that no deal has been done with Mohammad Ashgar that might override Tory party selection policy." Michael German AM added that pressure had been mounting for some months and that the former Plaid AM 'jumped before he was pushed': "It's been an open secret that current Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price is looking to get elected to the Assembly and the South East Wales List was one place that was an option for him. Clearly there's not enough space for everyone and Mohammad would have known that his chances of being reselected were next to zero had Adam Price decided to go for selection here."