1. Island nation

    Senior Welsh politicians have questioned an alleged link between BBC Wales and Plaid Cymru, Wales Eye can disclose.

    Plaid Cymru’s selection of another former BBC Wales employee to fight the Angesey seat in an election lies at the centre of the controversy.

    John Rowlands is the nationalist candidate in the highly-prized Ynys Mon constituency at the next parliamentary election which will be held in May 2015.

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    Mr Rowlands is targeting a seat held by Labour’s Albert Owen but Plaid Cymru were just 2,500 votes behind in second place at the last general election.

    The constituency has been represented at Westminster in the past by Plaid Cymru’s former leader Ieuan Wyn Jones.

    In the Welsh assembly, the seat is held by the party’s Rhun ap Iorwerth.

    If Mr Rowlands wins Ynys Mon - as is highly possible - both the parliamentary and assembly seats will be held by Plaid Cymru politicians who were also BBC Wales employees.

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    In 1994 Mr ap Iorwerth joined BBC Wales and was for five years chief political correspondent, before reporting from north Wales and presenting the news.

    He then joined Plaid Cymru and left the BBC in controversial circumstances.

    For five years in the late 1980s and early 1990s Mr Rowlands was a producer on BBC Radio Cymru.

    One senior Welsh Labour politician told Wales Eye:  "This is now becoming obvious.

    "We have long suspected there was a connection between BBC Wales and the nationalists.  

    Now we know for sure.”

    Whether or not this is true - in politics perception is everything.

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    A number of senior officials in the past have gone directly from BBC Wales to Plaid Cymru and back again or in the other direction.

    Some have even worked for the two organisations at the same time.

    This prompts suspicions of an easy transfer between the two bodies.

    For the BBC as with the media in general political balance must be achieved - especially in the weeks before an election.

    The European elections are due on May 22.

    BBC guidelines state:  There is no area of broadcasting where the BBC’s commitment to due impartiality is more closely scrutinised than in reporting election campaigns.”

    A BBC Wales employee said:  "There is a right stink about this and the suits are sensitive to any criticism.

    "As the elections approach it will only get worse."

    One example of apparent political bias may be considered unfortunate - two could be viewed in a different light.