Category Archives: News

What Willie said…..when he stood for First Minister

Willie Rennie’s candidacy for First Minister in the Scottish Parliament this week attracted some comment in the press. Andrew Liddle in the Press and Journal was very complimentary:

While it was clearly going to end in defeat, it also offered up a golden opportunity for Mr Rennie to expound his platform.

True to character, it was an irreverent move, not a devious one.

Here is Willie’s speech – he combines exactly the right mix of self-deprecating humour and statesmanlike vision.

“Ohhhh dad. You’re not are you?”

Those were the encouraging words from my unimpressed 12 year old son when he heard on the radio this morning that I was standing for First Minister.

I told Stephen that I had been inspired by a women nationalist leader who stood up against the odds.

But unlike Leanne Wood I won’t be relying on UKIP votes today.

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+++80% of special Welsh conference members vote to back Kirsty Williams as Education Secretary in Welsh government

Many thanks to @liberalmorgan and @peterblackwales for keeping us updated on the special Welsh Liberal Democrat conference today.

They’ve just tweeted (see below) a few minutes ago to say that the conference has endorsed the motion:

That the Welsh Liberal Democrats endorse the Progressive Agreement announced on Thursday, 19 May 2016, by Welsh Labour and Kirsty Williams and the invitation made by the First Minister to Kirsty Williams AM to take up the position of Cabinet Secretary for Education within the Welsh Government.

This is quite an historic moment. Many congratulations to Kirsty on getting such fulsome backing and becoming Education Secretary for Wales!

The conference today was closed so tweeting was generalised, without a comprehensive identification of views to speakers. But the tweets did give a flavour that the subject was thoroughly debated over three hours.

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National Liberal Club elects its first ever woman chairman

Word reaches us that the National Liberal Club has, for the first time ever, elected a woman take over its running. Janet Berridge is its new chairman.

We do have to wonder what took it so long, but we’re happy to see this development.

Janet said, on her election:

I am tremendously honoured to have been elected the new chairman of the National Liberal Club. Situated in the heart of London, the club appeals to a wide variety of professions and age groups and provides an environment to suit different interests and requirements. There is no such thing as a “typical club member” at the NLC – the diversity that has been nurtured over many years is reflected by its members. My aim in the coming years is to make sure that our club’s foundations are fit for the 21st century while maintaining its traditions and much-loved customs. By embracing the values of Liberalism espoused by the club’s founders and their successors, I am confident that this challenge can be met and achieved.

And a little bit about Janet and the history of the NLC from the club:

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Updates from the special Welsh Liberal Democrat conference today #wldconf

There’s a special conference for Welsh Liberal Democrat going on today. It’s to decide whether or not to endorse the “Progressive Agreement” reached by Kirsty Williams AM and the Labour Welsh Assembly group.

There are live tweets coming from the hall. #wldconf is the relevant hashtag. @peterblackwales and @liberalmorgan are particular Twitter handles to watch, if you’re interested. I’m retweeting most of the tweets on @paulwalteruk, so you can see them scroll up on our Team Twitter feed on the right hand column of this site.

Update 1pm: It appears that tweets from the conference hall have stopped. We’re expecting the conference to end around 2pm or shortly afterwards, so we hope to bring news then.

Update 1:30pm: The stoppage of tweeting is because they’re having lunch, bless them.

Here are some of the tweets so far:


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“In the heart of Wales” – details of the special Welsh Lib Dem conference today

welsh lib demsThe Special Conference 2016 organised by Welsh Liberal Democrats is being held at Cefn Lea Park, Dolifor, Newtown, Powys, SY16 4AJ and will start at 11am.

There is one item of business to discuss:

That the Welsh Liberal Democrats endorse the Progressive Agreement announced on Thursday, 19 May 2016, by Welsh Labour and Kirsty Williams and the invitation made by the First Minister to Kirsty Williams AM to take up the position of Cabinet Secretary for Education within the Welsh Government.

The full text of the statement is available here.

All members of the Welsh Liberal Democrats are entitled to attend and vote.

The Conference will be a closed, member-only event. Media will not be allowed into the auditorium during the debate.

We’ll be covering the news from Dolifor here on Liberal Democrat Voice as the day progresses.

Cefn Lea Park is a holiday and conference centre “in the heart of Wales”. It’s set in beautiful rural surroundings. So Welsh Liberal Democrats will certainly have a tranquil environment in which to consider their future! You can read Cefn Lea Park’s conference brochure here.

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A big day of internal Lib Demmery ahead

So, we’ve not even had a proper weekend off since the election. Two weeks ago we were all knackered and had loads of clearing up to do. Last week we were all on INtogether stalls. Now, this Saturday, our minds turn to future party strategy across Britain.

In Scotland, the party executive gathers for the first time since achieving a better result than most of us expected. We have a lot to chew over in terms of future strategy and we’re taking a day to do it. We’re having to follow Willie to North East Fife where he’ll spend some time with us before heading off to a local agricultural show.

In England, English Council meets in London.

However, the biggest and most immediate decision will be taken by the Welsh Liberal Democrats at a special conference in Powys. They will be debating whether Kirsty Williams should take up a seat in the Welsh Cabinet as Education Secretary.

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Wounded Liberal Democrats – roll of honour

DSCF0088Earlier this month, we reported, tongue-in-cheek, on two Wounded Liberal Democrats nursing dog bitten fingers.

We’ve now been contacted with news of two Liberal Democrats who have recently sustained broken bones in the course of campaigning for the party.

We’d like to send these virtual flowers to the two members as well as listing them on this roll of honour.

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