OUTSPOKEN AM Neil McEvoy has officially launched his new campaign group aimed at promoting free speech, the rights of communities and Welsh national sovereignty.

The South Wales Central AM, who was expelled from Plaid Cymru for 18 months - since reduced to 12 months - in March after being accused of breaching party rules, and now sits as an Independent in the Assembly, announced the launch of Propel at an event in Cardiff on Monday evening.

The group, which is within Plaid Cymru but not controlled by it, is based around the principles of individual, community and national sovereignty and has been set up, Mr McEvoy said, to attempt to take back power from the "UK elite".

In a speech at the launch event, which was attended by around 100 people, the AM said: "It's simple - we are going to change politics."

The group will campaign for the rights of communities to have a say in decisions affecting their areas - such as major developments - with referendums held on issues such as Local Development Plans.

"Nobody is going to change Wales for us," Mr McEvoy said.

"We have to get together and do it for ourselves

"Our job is to expose, oppose and rip out the rotting beams of Welsh politics."

He added he was particularly keen to fight against "political correctness" and "virtue signalling", saying ideas are often repressed by people claiming to be offended.

"We are heading towards a Wales 1984 unless we fight and win the battle of ideas," he said.

"Nowadays being offended is a hobby."

He added: "We are going to change the direction of policy in Wales.

"We are going to propel Wales forward."

Campaigner Heledd Gwyndaf also spoke at Monday's meeting at the historic Coal Exchange, where she said fighting against perceptions of Wales was key.

"We are in a situation where our nation and our language is made fun of and ridiculed We are stupid, our language and our nation is without purpose," she said.

"Nobody wants this movement to have to exist, but we've been forced into existence, and that's because significant things worry us.

"It worries me when the national movement says we are not ready for independence. That's the language of colonists."

Activist Bethan Phillips, of Neath, also spoke at the meeting.

Propel is open to members of Plaid Cymru or those who are not members of a political party, but members of other parties may not join.

For more information visit propel.wales