Adam Price

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This article is about Welsh politician Adam Price. For the Danish screenwriter Adam Price, see Adam Price (screenwriter).
Adam Price
Member of Parliament
for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
In office
8 June 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Alan Wynne Williams
Succeeded by Jonathan Edwards
Personal details
Born (1968-09-23) 23 September 1968 (age 45)
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Political party Plaid Cymru
Alma mater Cardiff University

Adam Price (born 23 September 1968, Carmarthen) is a politician in Wales, and former Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. He was elected to Parliament in the 2001 general election and re-elected in 2005 but stood down at the 2010 election. He belongs to Plaid's left-wing and has said of himself "I was a socialist before I was a nationalist."[1]

Biography[edit]

The son of a coal miner, Price went to Ysgol Dyffryn Aman[2] on Margaret Street in Ammanford in Carmarthenshire. He studied at Cardiff University gaining a BA in European Community Studies in 1991. From 1991-3, he was a research associate at the Cardiff University's department of City and Regional Planning. From 1993-8, he worked for Menter a Busnes,[3] being an executive director from 1996-8. He also studied at Saarland University in Saarbrücken in Germany. From 1998, he was the Managing Director of the Newidiem-Economic Development Consultancy (part of Menter a Business). Price is openly gay.[4]

He stood in 1992 general election for the seat of Gower.

Parliamentary career[edit]

The Mittal Affair: "Cash for Influence"[edit]

Controversy erupted in 2002 as Price exposed the link between UK prime minister Tony Blair and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal in the Mittal Affair, also known as 'Garbagegate' or Cash for Influence.[5][6][7] Mittal's LNM steel company, registered in the Dutch Antilles and maintaining less than 1% of its 100,000 plus workforce in the UK, sought Blair's aid in its bid to purchase Romania's state steel industry.[7] The letter from Blair to the Romanian government, a copy of which Price was able to obtain, hinted that the privatisation of the firm and sale to Mittal might help smooth the way for Romania's entry into the European Union.[5]

The letter had a passage in it removed just prior to Blair's signing of it, describing Mittal as "a friend."[7]

Mittal, already a Labour contributor, donated £125,000 more to Labour party funds a week after the 2001 UK General Elections, while as many as six-thousand of Welsh steelworkers were laid off that same year, Price and others pointed out.[5] Mittal's company, then the fourth largest in the world, was a "major global competitor of Britain's own struggling steel industry, Corus, formerly known as British Steel."[7] Corus and Valkia Limited were two of the primary employers in South Wales, particularly in Ebbw Vale, Llanwern, and Port Talbot.[8]

Opposition to Iraqi conflict[edit]

On 25 August 2004, Price announced his intention to begin a process of impeachment against Tony Blair, with the backing of all Plaid Cymru and SNP MPs. Impeachment had not been used in the UK for one-hundred and fifty years. If successful, it could have seen Blair tried before the House of Lords; however, as expected, the measure failed.[9]

On 17 March 2005 Price was ejected from the Commons chamber after accusing the Prime Minister of having "misled" Parliament and then refusing to withdraw his comment, in violation of the rules of the House.[10]

On 5 May 2005 he was re-elected MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with an increased majority (17.5%).

On 31 October 2006, Adam Price opened a three hour debate on an inquiry into the Iraq War, the first such debate in over two years. The SNP and Plaid Cymru motion proposing a committee of seven senior MPs to review "the way in which the responsibilities of government were discharged in relation to Iraq", was defeated by 298 votes to 273, a Government majority of 25, but was supported by a significant number of opposition MPs, and twelve "rebel" Labour MPs, including Glenda Jackson. This action led eventually to the establishment of the Chilcot Inquiry.

Stance on drugs[edit]

Writing in the Welsh language current affairs magazine Barn in April 2007, Price criticised UK government policy on drugs, indicating his support for their legalisation under medical supervision.[11]

Broadcast news controversy[edit]

In August 2007 MP Adam Price highlighted what he perceived as a lack of a Welsh focus on BBC news broadcasts.[12] Price threatened to withhold future television license fees in response to a lack of thorough news coverage of Wales, echoing a BBC Audience Council for Wales July report citing public frustration over how the Welsh Assembly is characterised in national media.[13] Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins agreed with Price and called for responsibility for broadcasting to be devolved to the Welsh Assembly, voicing similar calls from Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.[12] Criticism of the BBC's news coverage for Wales and Scotland since devolution prompted debate of possibly providing evening news broadcasts with specific focus for both countries.[12]

2007 Assembly elections spending[edit]

Following the 2007 Welsh Assembly elections, a UK parliamentary standards and privileges committee found Plaid MPs Price, Elfyn Llwyd, and Hywel Williams guilty of improperly advertising during the elections.[14] Though the committee admitted the three did not break any clear rules of the UK House of Commons, the committee believed the timing of the adverts were planned to coincide with the Assembly elections.[14]

Parliamentary funds are available for MPs to communicate with constituents regularly. However, the committee found that the three used this communication allowance improperly as part of Plaid's campaigning during the elections as the adverts were placed in publications with a circulation outside of their respective constituencies.[14]

Of the committee findings, Plaid MP group leader Elfyn Llwyd said that they would comply with the findings of the committee, but that they had "...acted in good faith throughout, and fully in line with the advice that was offered to us by the DFA (Department of Finance and Administration) at the time of the publication of the reports".[14] The three had to repay the money, about five thousand pounds each, and report the costs as part of Plaid's election spending.[14]

Golwg[edit]

In August 2007 Adam Price began a regular column in the weekly Welsh language current affairs magazine Golwg. Examples of the subject matter of these columns include Welsh independence;[15][16] the Barnett Formula;[17] nuclear energy;[18] scrapping the Welsh Office;[19] education;[20] Welsh media[21] and US politics[22]

Opposition to Afghan conflict[edit]

Adam Price has been a long standing opponent to the war and put forward an Early Day Motion calling for a timetable for withdrawal. Price has been critical of the strategy and objectives of the war.

Future plans[edit]

On 18 September 2009, Price announced that he will stand down from the House of Commons at the 2010 general election.[23] He plans to spend a year in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, and then stand for the Welsh Assembly in the 2011 elections.[23] In August 2010 Price's decision not to stand in the 2011 assembly elections was made public.[24] In June 2013 he announced plans to return to politics standing in his old constituency but this time for the Welsh Assembly.[25]

Awards[edit]

Year Award
2009 Voted Best Welsh MP Blogger by Total Politics Magazine
2009 Voted the only Welsh MP to retain public support in the Western Mail's online poll of MPs expenses
2008 British Computer Society Best MPs Website Nominee
2007 BBC AM.PM Communicator of the Year Winner
2007 British Computer Society Best MPs Website Winner
2006 ITV Wales MP of the Year
2006 Voted Western Mail's 'Greatest Living Welsh Politician'
2006 BBC AM.PM. Politician of the Year Nominee
2005 HTV Campaigning Politician of the Year
2004 BBC AM.PM Communicator of the Year
2004 BBC AM.PM Politician of the Year
2004 Channel 4 Campaigning Politician of the Year Nominee
2002 Spectator Magazine Parliamentary Inquisitor of the Year

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Impeachment? I found it on Google says Plaid MP behind idea', The Guardian, 25.11.2004.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Menter a Busnes Ymgynhorwyr Busnes". Menterabusnes.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  4. ^ Criddle, Byron; Waller, Robert (2002). Almanac of British Politics. Routledge. p. 222. ISBN 0-415-26833-8. 
  5. ^ a b c "Plaid reveals Labour steel cash link Monday, 11 February 2002, extracted 11-01-07". BBC News. 2002-02-11. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  6. ^ "Lakshmi Mittal, steel mill millionaire Thursday, 14 February 2002, extracted 11-01-07". BBC News. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Q&A: 'Garbagegate' Thursday, 14 February 2002 extracted 11-01-07". BBC News. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  8. ^ "Steel firm condemns 'Mittal aid' Monday, 18 February 2002, 14:47 GMT extracted 11-01-07". BBC News. 2002-02-18. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  9. ^ "Blair impeachment campaign starts Friday, 27 August 2004". BBC News. 2004-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  10. ^ "MP thrown out over Blair war jibe MP thrown out over Blair war jibe Thursday, 17 March 2005". BBC News. 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  11. ^ The War Is Over Saturday, 21 April 2007[dead link]
  12. ^ a b c "Plaid MP's BBC licence fee threat Monday, 20 August 2007". BBC News. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  13. ^ "BBC audiences 'want modern Wales' Monday, 16 July 2007". BBC News. 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "MPs' adverts broke election rules Monday, 19 November 2007 extracted 22 January 2008". BBC News. 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  15. ^ Walking forwards not backwards Saturday, 25 August 2007[dead link]
  16. ^ Plaid needs a new movement Thursday, 12 June 2008[dead link]
  17. ^ Losing the opportunity to get money for Wales Thursday, 6 September 2007[dead link]
  18. ^ Adam goes nuclear Thursday, 20 September 2007[dead link]
  19. ^ Time to scrap the Welsh Office Thursday, 18 October 2007[dead link]
  20. ^ The age of laptops is here so why wait Thursday, 25 October 2007[dead link]
  21. ^ Dinosaurs Thursday, 29 May 2008[dead link]
  22. ^ 08 could be 68 Thursday, 5 June 2008[dead link]
  23. ^ a b "Plaid MP Adam Price to stand down". BBC News Online. 18 September 2009. 
  24. ^ Martin Shipton (2010-08-04). "Former Carmarthen MP not to stand for Assembly". Wales Online (Western Mail). Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  25. ^ "Ex-Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price eyes Welsh assembly seat". BBC News. 7 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alan Wynne Williams
Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
20012010
Succeeded by
Jonathan Edwards