People's Voice gets louder
THE People's Voice political movement which started in Blaenau Gwent looks set to spread into other areas of Wales and England after becoming an official party.
Based in Blaenau Gwent and led by MP Dai Davies, the group registered with the Electoral Commission last month.
It now has 130 members in Blaenau Gwent, 30 in Torfaen and similar numbers in Monmouthshire, Newport and Caerphilly.
People's Voice AM, Trish Law, is defending her seat for the first time in May's Assembly elections.
And Mr Davies said the party will field candidates in Monmouthshire, Islwyn, and possibly Newport East.
It has also attracted interest from Swansea, where councillors asked for advice.
And a group in Blackpool has asked about fielding candidates in the English local government elections, also in May.
No Gwent Assembly candidates have yet been named other than former Torfaen Labour official Ian Williams.
He is to stand against Torfaen's Labour AM Lynne Neagle.
Mr Davies said a decision on whether to field candidates on a first past the post basis or on the regional list hasn't been made.
The group was founded by Blaenau Gwent AM and MP, the late Peter Law, who left the Labour Party after a row over the party's all-women shortlist imposed at the 2005 General Election.
Mr Law won a landslide victory, but died in 2006 after suffering a brain tumour.
The resulting Assembly and Parliamentry by-elections saw his widow Mrs Law, and former agent Mr Davies sweep to victory.
"We needed to register protect the name," said Mr Davies.
Members in Blaenau Gwent pay an £18 full membership fee. This money would be spent on advertising and campaigns.
"Myself and Trish paid our own deposits and it will be the same for any other candidates," added Mr Davies.