Leanne Wood
Leanne Wood was born in the Rhondda where she continues to live today. She was educated at Tonypandy Comprehensive School, the University of Glamorgan and Cardiff University. Before her election to the National Assembly in 2003, Leanne worked as a professional tutor and lectured in social policy at Cardiff University. She also worked as a probation officer and a support worker for Cwm Cynon Women's Aid during 2001 and 2002. She remains involved with Cwm Cynon Women’s Aid through her role as chair of their Board of Trustees. She has been heavily involved in the trade union movement and was, until recently, the chair of the all-party PCS Union group in the Assembly. During her tenure as AM, she has been responsible for the Sustainability, Environment, Social Justice, and Housing portfolios for Plaid Cymru.

Leanne has produced two major policy documents for Plaid Cymru. In 2008, she published Making Our Communities Safer which argued for the criminal justice system in Wales to be devolved. In 2011, A Greenprint for the Valleys was published, in which Leanne argued for a green job creation programme aimed at regenerating the former coalfield areas of the valleys. It contains initiatives including: a Green Construction Skills College; implementing an integrated transport plan for the valleys; creating a land bank for renewable energy and food production; and a programme to renovate heritage buildings. It also advocates providing loan-based financial support for home energy efficiency measures and for the setting up of green co-operatives.
On March 15th 2012, Leanne was elected as leader of Plaid Cymru, becoming the first woman to lead the party. Outside of politics, her interests include learning Welsh and gardening.

Entries by Leanne Wood

Europe Must Challenge Austerity

(6) Comments | Posted 29 January 2015 | (23:00)

This weekend the eyes of Europe turned to Greece as Syriza won the elections there on an anti-austerity platform.

The reason the result has raised hopes across the continent is because it shows that in these troubled times, the response to austerity and to a lack of trust in big...

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TTIP's Threat to Democracy

(1) Comments | Posted 9 October 2014 | (16:26)

Perhaps one of the most common questions posed to politicians whilst out on the campaign trail is "what's the point in voting?"

This disengagement with the political process, of parties and politicians is understandable given occurrences such as the MPs' expenses scandal and the Westminster party leaders...

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Hope Must Overcome Despair Following the European Elections

(8) Comments | Posted 30 May 2014 | (18:48)

In all corners of the European Union, a significant proportion of those who voted last week opted for parties that provided a vehicle for expressing deep dissatisfaction.

That dissatisfaction - despair even - is complicated and sincerely felt and should not be dismissed. It should be confronted.


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Plaid Cymru Carries the Mantle of Progressive Politics

(0) Comments | Posted 9 February 2014 | (20:43)

"We're the only party committed unswervingly to human rights. The only truly internationalist party. The only party with a real vision of Europe. The only party with a consistent track record on public services. The only party with genuine credentials on the environment."

The above is a passage from a...

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There Is an Alternative to Royal Mail Privatisation for Wales

(1) Comments | Posted 27 September 2013 | (10:11)

In his first speech to Parliament as Postmaster General, Caerphilly MP Ness Edwards celebrated the postal service as a success story of socialised industries. He was the last Welsh person to hold that now defunct office. In his work, Ness reflected the values of universalism and a commitment to community...

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A Rainbow Alliance for a Radical and Rebalanced Future

(8) Comments | Posted 2 July 2013 | (09:38)

On Monday, I told the Institute of Public Policy Research in Manchester how greater devolution and closer political networking between post-industrialised areas could address the growing North-South divide. Here, I outline that vision further...

It was over half a century ago, in October 1962, that then-Prime Minister Harold MacMillan told...

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EU Referendum: What's Best for Wales?

(35) Comments | Posted 27 January 2013 | (23:00)

There are times when history seems to speed up. We are living through just such a period. By the end of the decade Wales may be outside not just the British Union of 1707, if Scotland votes Yes, but also outside the European Union of 1973, if England votes no....

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Why Not Use Bank Fines to Alleviate Poverty?

(20) Comments | Posted 3 January 2013 | (23:00)

Homelessness and food poverty were points of major debate in the run-up to Christmas; perhaps more than ever this time around.

While the office parties and last minute shopping were going on around them, there was a visible increase in the number of people of all ages sleeping rough and...

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Steps Must Be Taken to Halt Market Rigging

(3) Comments | Posted 21 November 2012 | (23:00)

"A great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Journalist Matt Taibbi's memorable description of Goldman Sachs in his 2007 Rolling Stone profile remains one of the most abiding and resonant descriptions of greed in this age of...

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Veterans Deserve Better

(23) Comments | Posted 7 November 2012 | (23:00)

For almost one hundred years Remembrance Sunday has offered an opportunity to reflect upon the horrors that people everywhere have suffered as a result of war. In Wales, the reminders of the realities of war can be found in all communities. Even the smallest village has a memorial to people...

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Plaid Cymru's Plan C To Get Wales Back On Track

(12) Comments | Posted 1 October 2012 | (00:00)

The UK remains in the midst of the deepest recession in living memory with few predicting a change in fortune anytime soon.

People in Wales are particularly feeling the pinch. Unemployment is higher than the UK average and our latest Gross Value Added (GVA) figures show that...

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