The Ynys Môn Senedd Member has spoken out about why he will stand for the island’s seat in the next Westminster election.
Rhun ap Iorwerth told the Local Democracy Reporting Service why he was keen to be the island’s next voice in London – and as he told delegates at this week’s Plaid Cymru annual conference in Llandudno – not “London’s representative in Ynys Môn”.
The next planned election is set for January 2025. Some pundits moot the possibility of a snap election amid recent political upheaval at Nnumber 10, but Mr ap Iorwerth says he is “ready to go”.
The 50-year-old has been the island’s Member at the Senedd for the past nine years.
He admitted that standing for the Westminster seat was “not something I had planned to do.”
The Plaid Cymru politician said it has been “the highest honour” to represent his home island in the Senedd.
But over the past nine years it had “become clear to me, this should be something I should do – I should put my name forward.”
He said he was committed to making sure “the interests of all the people of Ynys Mon are served and promoted.”
“If you think you have a government that works against the interests of your country and your own area you just have to do something about it,” he said.
“You have to use every platform and that platform now includes the House of Commons.
“I have to try to make it so we have that platform available to us.”
Speaking of the cost of living crisis he said it was “distressing in so many ways” to see many vulnerable people on the island paying the cost of recent political decisions.
“So many people are feeling the effects of the cost of living with rising prices and mortgages going up,” he said.
“There has been a shambolic handling of the economy, and the party in charge is only interested in playing its own games.
“We have got to do something about the situation, it is shameful at the moment.
“I am standing as someone who the people on Ynys Mon have got to know.
“Hopefully, I have helped thousands of people and built trust over the years, and I hope they will unite behind me to bring Ynys Mon together politically and economically.”
As part of efforts to “share his ideas” Mr ap Iorwerth said he was going to be “reaching out.”
“We are going to be putting out leaflets to explain our ideas and to let people know we are here, to show that we want to give people in the area the kind of representation they deserve.
“We have a lot of work to do to get more funding coming to Anglesey and Wales.”
On Monday, he told the Plaid Cymru conference at Venue Cymru, Llandudno his decision to stand had been made because “this government was acting so contrary to the interests of Ynys Môn and Wales.”
In is conference speech he also citied the need to “make sure the voice of Ynys Môn was heard,” in jobs, in energy projects, the port and town of Holyhead and in support for areas “hit hard” in recent years such as Amlwch and the north of the island and he wanted to “unite” the island’s communities.
Over the years Anglesey’s history has been shaped by all four major parties in Wales which have at one time or another held the seat Westminster seat.
“It is an interesting seat, it has been everywhere politically” Mr ap Iorwerth said.
“But it is the constituency that I love, and the standards of the people are very high, they just want to know they are being represented.
“The last election was after years of Brexit gloom, so let’s get Brexit done and let the Conservative’s squeeze be over.
“They have changed their leader twice in just a few weeks, they have no democratic mandate, messing around with democratic mandates, is something that people are taking a dim view of.
“Changing a leader once, is one thing but simply appointing a leader as they have with Rishi Sunak is contemptuous.
“They are just so desperate to cling on to power.”
Commenting on recent boundary changes, Mr ap Iorwerth also said he was pleased at the Boundary Commission for Wales’ revised proposals.
The changes mean that Ynys Môn will always have its own Member of Parliament and can never be grouped with areas of the mainland.
“I started looking into this about five years ago, that Ynys Môn should stay as its own separate constituency.
“We are as a special case, there are unique circumstances around island communities that make them their own unit, it makes for better representation for the area.
He added: “Should there be a general election now or later, I am ready to go.”
Ynys Mon is my home, and this area means so much, never underestimate just how important it is to me.”