SPARE a thought for Wales in this UK General Election. While Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP at least have had a network broadcast look-in, Plaid Cymru has been largely ignored by the London media. Unlike past election debates where former Plaid leader Leanne Wood was included, her successor Adam Price has been excluded during this campaign. That’s a shame because he has a lot of sensible things to say. Last night’s BBC Question Time, which featured Nicola Sturgeon, again did not include Plaid Cymru.

Yesterday Plaid Cymru launched their manifesto with a raft of exciting and ambitious suggestions. At the heart of the manifesto is their commitment to oppose Brexit and the damage it will cause Wales and the rest of the UK. That really matters because in a hung parliament it may be Plaid Cymru MPs who will make the difference. Plaid have also reached an agreement with other Remain parties in Wales to stand aside for one another in a number of seats.

Plaid leader Adam Price has always been an exciting ideas-based politician, keen to transform his country into an economic powerhouse by releasing its latent potential. With the abundance of renewable energy potential in Wales Plaid Cymru wants to harness this and create a green jobs revolution. With 15% of Europe’s renewable energy potential, Wales is well-positioned to boost jobs, take an environmental lead and transform its economic performance. Only Plaid Cymru is offering that vision and concrete proposals to make it happen.

Infrastructural improvement is also a key proposal, with electrification of the south Wales main rail lines as well as the north Wales coastline. On health and social care Plaid is proposing extra investment in early intervention and preventative health care, as well as a national commission to look at legislative changes on drug dependency.

On social justice, Plaid Cymru wants a particular focus on low-income families. With research showing that under a UK Tory government and a Labour assembly government Wales is the only UK nation to see an increase in child poverty last year, it’s understandable why this is a key priority.

While education is devolved, Plaid are highlighting the funding emergency in Wales and prioritise colleges as well as schools for enhanced investment. Policing is also a top-10 priority with an aim to follow Scotland on additional police numbers with the recruitment of 1600 additional officers.

On powers for the Welsh assembly, Plaid Cymru put Welsh priorities way ahead of the UK parties. Corporation tax, air passenger duty and VAT are all earmarked for devolution, while on defence and security Plaid support a four-nation lock on UK war-making powers. If the UK is a family of nations with a respect agenda, surely the Welsh assembly should have a say on whether Welsh servicemen and women are committed to conflict.

With the UK party leaders having little or nothing to say about Wales in this election, it is obvious that a vote for Plaid Cymru is the best choice. Unless Wales returns Plaid MPs then the country is largely ignored. Fortunately, the Party of Wales has had outstanding MPs in Liz Saville Roberts, Hywel Williams, Jonathan Edwards and Ben Lake during the last parliament. It would be great to see more Plaid Cymru MPs returned and boost the Welsh voice at Westminster.

A strong Plaid Cymru performance also points towards a challenge for victory in the next Welsh national assembly elections in 2021. For the first time we have seen recent opinion-poll evidence showing Plaid Cymru challenging Labour for power in Cardiff Bay. How fitting would it be for the Party of Wales to take the reins as the Welsh national assembly becomes the Welsh Parliament and Senedd Cymru.

With Adam Price as its dynamic leader, Plaid Cymru has been making big strides towards becoming the natural party of government for Wales. I have been fortunate to work with him and his colleagues recently and know how talented and ambitious they are for everyone who lives in Wales.

Price will make an excellent Welsh First Minister and working with Nicola Sturgeon will form a strong team pushing for a new and better relationship across these islands. While English politics has been consumed by inward-looking Brexit priorities, it is Welsh and Scottish political leaders who have provided the progressive outward-looking European and internationalist voices. I hope that people in Wales will vote Plaid Cymru in the forthcoming UK General Election and together with the SNP secure a better future than the Westminster parties can ever dream of.