Welsh Communist Party
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2011)|
In November 2004, the Welsh Communist Party hosted a Communist University in Pontypridd, under the question "How can we challenge the "New World Order" and create a people's Wales?", with speakers invited from across the progressive, labour and socialist movements, including:
- Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain
- George Galloway, Respect Coalition MP
- John Haylett, editor of the Morning Star
- Andrew Murray, chairman of the Stop the War Coalition
- Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru and member of the Welsh Assembly.
The Communist University of Wales is now a bi-annual event attracting scores of left wing and progressive Welsh activists over the course of its weekend of courses.
The Welsh Communist Party fielded six candidates in the 2004 local elections. In Shotton, the Communist Party beat the Conservative Party. The results were as follows:
|Rhian Cartwright||Splott (Cardiff)||1.9|
|Fran Rawlings||Adamsdown (Cardiff)||3|
|Rick Newnham||Taff's Well (R.C.T.)||3.3|
|Nigel Maskell||Mountain Ash East (R.C.T.)||2|
|Roy Evans||Vaynor (Merthyr Tydfil)||11.6|
|Glyn Davies||Shotton (Flintshire)||21.6|
The Welsh Communist Party built on its electoral work in the 2007 National Assembly elections fielding 20 candidates in the five electoral regions of Wales thus qualifying for TV election broadcasts the first by the Communist Party in over 40 years. In total the Welsh Communists polled almost four thousand votes and in doing so increased the size of its vote in the two regions that it contested in 2003 by 34% and 42%.
In 2008 the Welsh Communist Party contested 11 seats in the Local Government elections across five council areas (Cardiff; Caerphilly; Merthyr Tydfil; Rhondda Cynon Taff and Swansea). The Communist vote ranged from 2.9% to 12.6%, averaging 5.5% in the seats contested. In these elections the Welsh Communist Party made an electoral break through with the election of Clive Griffiths to the Hirwaun & Penderyn Community Council, the first Communist councillor in Wales since the early 1990s.
The Welsh Communist Party has over 100 members organised in 9 branches across Wales: Cardiff, Monmouthshire & Borders,West Wales, Newport & Valleys, Swansea, Merthyr & Cynon Valley, Pontypridd, North West Wales and Flintshire.
The Party holds a bi-annual Welsh Congress that decides the Communist Party's policy as they apply to the circumstances in Wales and elects an Executive Committee that runs the Party in Wales between Congresses. The last Welsh Congress, held in Pontypridd in November 2009, up dated the Welsh Communist Party's programme "Real Power for the People of Wales".
The leader of the Welsh Communist Party is Rick Newnham who also sits on the Communist Party of Britain's Executive Committee.