Lack of diversity among candidates for Senedd Elections criticised again

Nearly three years ago the then-Welsh Conservatives leader Paul Davies recognised the need for the party to be more representative of Welsh society.

To tackle the problem, he promised to present a “diverse slate of candidates from all walks of life” at the next elections.

That change in personnel did not materialise and once again the party faces further criticism over its make-up. .

However, the Conservatives aren’t alone, says Patience Bentu from Race Council Cymru, a non-profit organisation who work closely with groups looking to improve their anti-racism and inclusion policies.

She says there is a distinct ‘lack of political will’ amongst Wales’ political parties to work with organisations such as RCC, and despite having sent many invitations to discuss and rectify the matter, their requests have been ignored.

“So, how interested are they?” she asks.

A spokesman for the Welsh Liberal Democrats admitted, “It’s clear looking at members elected to date that not enough has been done. Welsh Liberal Democrats are proud that in 2021 we will be fielding candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and differing demographics.”

However, the uniformity in their Senedd Elections 2021 candidate list is stark, and seems to contradict this statement when one looks at their candidates for South Wales Central, for example.

Despite Welsh Labour having been the traditional vanguard for propelling candidate diversity, recent years have seen most parties in Wales pledge to ensure racial and gender parity internally. The coming weeks will reveal how much ‘political will’ the parties within the Senedd truly have.