Tag Archives: Wales

LibLink: Kirsty Williams’ pitch for Welsh Assembly votes

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has set out the party’s stall in an article for Wales Online.

First of all, she says that devolution hasn’t delivered what it should have done. She highlights the key problems:

The Labour Welsh Government is the longest surviving government in Europe. It is bankrupt of ideas, tired and with flawed priorities – 17 years in power, yet no vision for Wales’ future.

One needn’t look any further than Labour’s crusade to ban the use of e-cigarettes, all while NHS waiting lists continue to grow and health services are failing.

People, rightly, expect their Welsh Government to deliver effective public services and economic stability. Yet NHS waiting lists in Wales remain the longest in the UK, our schools’ standards have fallen in the international league tables and our economy continues to lag behind that of our counterparts.

She wants a Parliament that listens to people:

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Poll boosts for Kirsty Williams and Eluned Parrott in Wales

The only poll that actually matters is the one that happens 8 days from today, but there is encouraging news from key Welsh marginals. The caveat is that it’s based on extrapolations from a uniform national swing, but it is a sign that the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Kirsty are having a good impact with their campaign calling for improvements in health, education, housing and the economy, all of which are suffering under Labour rule.

Wales Online looks at a number of seats including two of particular interest to Liberal Democrats:

Brecon and Radnorshire

The constituency was won comfortably by the Conservatives in last year’s general election.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams is on 40.4% with Tory Gary Price on 27.4%.

Cardiff Central

In Cardiff Central, where Labour took the seat from the Liberal Democrats in last year’s general election with a comfortable majority, the party’s Jenny Rathbone, who narrowly won it in 2011, is said to be trailing the Lib Dems’ Eluned Parrott by 35.1% to 28.6%.

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Welsh Lib Dems say AM pay rises must be linked to public sector pay

Kirsty Williams on Radio WalesFrom May, AMs in the Welsh Assembly will get a whopping 18% pay rise, awarded by an independent pay review body. Only the Welsh Liberal Democrats voted against that and they have said that it must never happen again.

From the BBC:

Kirsty Williams has promised to peg AMs’ pay to general rises in the public sector.

AMs will get a salary of £64,000 from 5 May, up from £54,000, following an independent remuneration board decision.

The Lib Dems pledge would apply to the Senedd term after the 2021 election.

Ms Williams said: “It’s outrageous that, at a time when public sector workers have had their salaries either frozen or rise only slightly, politicians are getting a salary hike of 18%.

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Welsh Lib Dems ask Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on list to stop UKIP

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are making a big play for Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on the regional list to stop UKIP candidates like Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless (really) from getting elected.

From Wales Online:

Jenny Randerson – the former Acting Deputy First Minister who became a Wales Office minister – has intervened in the Assembly election campaign to urge Labour supporters to lend the Liberal Democrats their votes on the regional list in a bid to stop Ukip winning AMs.

The former Cardiff Central AM who is now a member of the House of Lords argues that Labour voters have the power to “stop Ukip”.

Baroness Randerson said: “The truth is that Labour voters can stop Ukip gaining large numbers of Assembly Members. The power, so to speak, is in their hands.

“Even Labour insiders know, in their heart of hearts, that it’s unlikely that they will pick up regional Assembly Members. Therefore, Labour voters must consider lending their regional vote to the Welsh Liberal Democrats to stop Ukip.

“We are confident we can win constituency seats, but in some regions the battle for the fourth seat is between Ukip and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It’s a clear choice.

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What they said about Kirsty in the Welsh Leaders’ Debate

Last night, ITV held a debate for the six Welsh party leaders.

As expected, Kirsty Williams put in a strong performance on education, taking on UKIP’s Nathan Gill on the folly of his education policies, emphasising Liberal Democrat successes such as the Welsh version of the Pupil Premium which was implemented because of Liberal Democrat influence and Kirsty’s More Nurses Bill. She was also keen to emphasise that the stark choice voters face on the list, with key seats being a choice between Kirsty’s Lib Dems and UKIP.

You can see for yourself by watching the whole thing here:

Here’s what commentators in the press and on Twitter had to say about Kirsty’s performance. 

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Cooking with Kirsty

Kirsty Williams faces her ITV leaders’ debate on ITV Cymru tomorrow at 8pm.

Away from the formalities of the campaign, she has been cooking with ITV Cymru’s political editor Adrian Masters. He’s been doing this with all the party leaders. I do hope he asked the men what their families thought of them being party leaders as well.

He helped Kirsty make Sloppy Joes.

Kirsty had a great story about being brought back to earth after meeting President Obama. If it had been me, I’d have wanted to talk about nothing else for about a year. Her husband, Richard, had something else he needed to ask, though:

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LibLink: Kirsty Williams: Cancer care in Wales

Kirsty Williams 2All the parties in Wales have been asked to write a blog for the Tenovus Cancer Care charity’s website. This is what Kirsty Williams had to say:

Cancer is something that will touch the life of everyone in Wales at some point. So when it does, the system needs to be ready to step up and give the treatment and care patients, and their families, need.

Yesterday the Welsh Liberal Democrats launched our manifesto for the next Welsh Government which contained a number of commitments that would transform cancer care. Cancer causes more than one in four deaths, yet Wales is the only UK nation without a cancer awareness campaign and there are huge variations in cancer outcomes within Wales, we must address this.

In government we would develop an all-Wales Individual Patient Funding Requests panel and remove the ‘exceptionality’ hurdle which prevents many patients’ access to drugs that their clinician thinks could help them. Your clinician should choose your medication, not your postcode.

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