A Labour Councillor has crossed the floor to Plaid Cymru and pledges to "fight for a fairer Wales."
Councillor Cathy Augustine, who represents the ward of Penmaenmawr on Conwy County Borough Council, said that "Plaid Cymru is key to the local coalition that can bring about positive change for the people of Conwy. They are the real alternative to the Tories; the ones who can make a positive and lasting difference."
Cllr Augustine will be joining the group of 9 Plaid Cymru Councillors on Conwy County Borough Council.
Catrin Wager, Plaid Cymru's Westminster candidate for the new Bangor Aberconwy constituency has welcomed Cllr Augustine.
Catrin Wager said;
“It’s an honour to welcome Cathy to Plaid Cymru. I know that she is a hard working principled politician, and her passion for social justice and equality are also central to our ethos here in Plaid Cymru.
“The Labour party leadership have lost their way. The have refused to stand by workers fighting for better pay. They refused to commit to alleviating poverty for around a million children by scrapping the two child limit on benefits. They’ve backtracked on environmental commitments. They’ve refused to call for a ceasefire as the horror unfolds in Gaza.
“Plaid Cymru stand for fairness, for justice, for ambition, and for a peaceful society, and I look forward to working with Cllr Augustine to try and bring about the change we need for the people of Penmaenmawr, and the new constituency of Bangor Aberconwy.”
Cllr Augustine said;
“I have much respect for all the Labour County Councillors who have been my closest colleagues, and also friends. However, in the 18 months since I was elected, the gap between my long-held values and the direction and policies of the Labour Party at national level, both in London and Cardiff, has been increasing and is now too wide for me to consider the Labour Party as my political home.
“Developments over the past few weeks have been the final straw for me, along with around 50 other Labour councillors across the UK – as neither the UK Labour leader, nor the leader of Welsh Labour has been able to find the humanity to call unequivocally for a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine as the precursor to finding lasting peace through a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, freedom and security. I was very pleased that the leader of Plaid Cymru made this call and the motion he tabled was passed in the Senedd on 8th November. I echo the calls made by Plaid Cymru that the situation in Gaza must not be used to fuel hate of any kind.
“As a woman of mixed heritage, I’ve been an anti-racist activist all my adult life, campaigning for equality, diversity and accessibility. I’m a vocal supporter of women’s rights and promoting women’s voices. I support LGBTQ+ rights and the social model of disability. I believe that we have a duty to ensure that no-one in our communities is left behind. We must protect the beautiful environment and rich heritage that we are blessed with. Plaid Cymru campaigns on all these issues. I also believe in listening to grassroots voices and in true democratic processes and this is the inclusive way that Plaid Cymru operates.
My commitment to the people of Penmaenmawr has not changed. That means continuing to listen to residents; being available to help individuals and community groups; working closely with other Councillors to ensure the best outcomes for our area. I am more determined than ever to put in the time, effort and resolve that it takes to make a positive difference across Penmaenmawr ward, and I look forward to working with Catrin Wager to ensure that Bangor Aberconwy has a principled and hard working MP representing our residents’ needs in Westminster.”
Catrin Wager added;
"Any Labour member or supporter who feels disillusioned by the ongoing shambles in Westminster and is seeking a radical alternative, Plaid Cymru could well be the home for you."